RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Two North Carolina state laws introduced in the House and Senate are named after a North Carolina woman stabbed to death in a Lumberton Food Lion parking lot.
Kayla Hammonds, 31, was found stabbed numerous times in November. She died at the scene. According to an obituary, Hammonds left behind two children.
Police arrested 37-year-old Desmond Lee Sampson in her killing. He was charged with first-degree murder and violation of a domestic violence protection order.
Now Senate Bill 51 and House Bill 39, nicknamed Kayla’s Act, seek to provide better protections for those experiencing domestic violence.
If enacted, the bill would allow domestic violence victims to remotely testify against accused abusers in court. Remote testimony would be allowed if a judge finds testifying in front of the defendant would create suffer serious emotional distress or impair the testimony of a domestic abuse victim.
If a victim is not available to testify because of the defendant, Kayla’s Law would allow a hearsay exception. This exception allows previous out-of-court statements be used against the defendant.
The bill would also require district court trials related to domestic violence be recorded and preserved for potential future use and would add domestic violence crimes to the list of crimes falling under the 10-year statute of limitations.
On Tuesday, Sens. Danny Earl Britt Jr. (R-Robeson), Dave Craven (R-Randolph), and Buck Newton (R-Wilson) will hold a press conference to discuss the proposed bills. Family members of Hammonds will also be present.