Father Of Slain Woman Lobbies For Mental Health Laws | KUOW News and Information

Father Of Slain Woman Lobbies For Mental Health Laws

Jan 20, 2015
Originally published on January 19, 2015 3:53 pm

The father of a Spokane woman shot to death by her husband in a murder-suicide is pushing for expanded mental health laws in Washington.

Sheena Henderson was killed last July at work – a day after her husband’s suicidal behavior drew the attention of police. Monday her father Gary Kennison spoke with reporters at the Capitol in Olympia.

“One of the toughest things that I had to do was I had to stand before my two grandchildren and tell them that their parents were no longer going to come home, that they went to heaven,” he said. “You look in the eyes of a six and nine year old and it’s devastating.”

Kennison is now urging lawmakers to allow family members to petition a court to involuntarily commit a loved one. That proposal is known as “Joel’s Law” after a mentally ill Seattle man who was shot by police.

Kennison also supports two other proposed laws that have been introduced in his daughter’s name. One would provide follow-up evaluations for individuals who are potentially suicidal. The other would require that police notify families when they return a firearm to someone who was previously mentally unstable.

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