Midstate slaying prompts review of protection from abuse law

Written by The Associated Press | Apr 11, 2016 12:22 PM

Officials remove a car from the scene of a shooting in Mt. Gretna on Monday. The car is the one believed stolen by Patrick Derr from his mother in Richland, which he then drove to Mt. Gretna before shooting Pennington and then himself. (Jeremy Long -- Lebanon Daily News)

(Harrisburg) -- The murder of a woman by a former boyfriend who then killed himself outside a central Pennsylvania ice cream shop last fall has prompted state lawmakers to take another look at the commonwealth's protection from abuse law.

State House members last week unanimously adopted a resolution directing the Joint State Government Commission, the research organization that serves the General Assembly, to examine whether deficiencies in the current law place victims at risk.

State Rep. Mauree Gingrich, R-Lebanon, said she sponsored the resolution following the Labor Day murder of 46-year-old Stacey Pennington by a former boyfriend who was scheduled to be sentenced in two days for assault and harassment.

The commission is to examine practices and procedures and try to identify any ``blind spots'' or ``gaps'' in application of the law.

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