HARRISBURG, Pa. — A bill, coined “Alina’s Law,” aims to safeguard victims of domestic abuse in response to the 2017 murder of University of Pittsburgh student Alina Sheykhet.
House Bill 588, introduced by Rep. Anita Kulik, of Allegheny County, would give judges discretion in deciding whether a PFA defendant should wear an electronic monitoring device if they pose a threat of violating the order.
In October 2017, 20-year-old Sheykhet was murdered by her ex-boyfriend, Matthew Darby, about a month after a PFA was filed against him. Darby has since pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
“In 2017, there were 117 deaths in the commonwealth as a result of domestic violence, Alina’s death included,” Kulik said in a news release. “The threat on her life fell through the cracks of the state system, and as a result she lost her life. It’s time the commonwealth did its part by guaranteeing the safety of domestic abuse victims and making sure defendants don’t violate these orders.”
The same bill was introduced last year and passed the state senate with bi-partisan support, but was never brought up for a vote in the house.
Kulik said she's confident this year will be different.
Cox Media Group