Bill Denies Bail to Domestic Violence Offenders

House Bill 1150 closes loophole on defendants with prior convictions of stalking and domestic violence

State Senator Owen Hill and State Rep. Clarice Navarro
State Senator Owen Hill and State Rep. Clarice Navarro sponsored House Bill 1150.

Last week, a new bill denying bail to those convicted of stalking and domestic violence went into effect. The impetus for House Bill 1150 was the death of 28-year-old Janice Nam of Colorado Springs. Nam, who had taken out a restraining order against her ex-boyfriend Glen Galloway, was shot and killed in her home in May 2016 by Galloway, according to Colorado Springs Police. Galloway had previously been convicted of stalking Nam.

“First of all, for someone to build the courage to come forth on this kind of domestic abuse, realize how much courage this takes on a woman’s behalf, knowing the potential repercussions,” state senator and bill co-sponsor Owen Hill, Republican from Colorado Springs, said. “This woman … needs to know 100 percent that the government is there to protect her, that it’s got her back and we’re not going to have policies that put her at risk for having the courage to come out and try to put an end to this history of violence.”

Previously under Colorado law, stalking and domestic violence were not included on the list of no-bail crimes. House Bill 1150 closes the loophole, denying bail to convicted and habitual offenders so they remain in jail between conviction and sentencing.

The legislation stipulates that a second or subsequent conviction for stalking that occurs within seven years after a previous conviction offense or stalking when the victim had obtained a protection order or there was an injunction, probation, condition of bond or parole court order deems the defendant ineligible for bail. At the time of sentencing, if the defendant has three or more previous convictions involving domestic violence, they are also denied bail under the new law.

To read this story and other complete articles featured in the August 14, 2017 print edition of Law Week Colorado, copies are available for purchase online.