Alissa Blanton, 23, of Cocoa, Fla., was shot and killed Monday in the parking lot near her new job at an AT&T call center in Orange County, Fla. Police said her killer, 61-year-old Roger Troy, fatally shot himself immediately afterward.
About a week before she died, Blanton asked a judge for an order of protection against Troy, whom she said had been stalking her for two years. Despite the evidence she presented -- her petition contained more than 70 pages of harassing e-mails Troy sent to her -- Brevard County Circuit Court Judge Dean Moxley said he didn't have enough information to rule on the petition.
According to ABC News' Orlando affiliate WFTV, Moxley ordered a hearing for Feb. 16 to gather more information on the request.
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In an interview with the Orlando Sentinel newspaper, Moxley said he couldn't determine if Troy's actions met the legal definition of stalking based on the information presented by Blanton.
"As a judge you have to follow the law. You're not omniscient. God bless her soul," he told the newspaper.
A top forensic psychiatrist, Michael Welner, said that while we rely on the court system to protect victims, it is also important to remember that the stalker is fixated on someone else.
"So what is going to happen after a court hearing? If he is a predator he is still going to prey. If he is locked up for a few months, he is still going to target her. In my professional experience, separation is the best solution," Welner said on "Good Morning America" this morning.
Welner suggested that if you cannot immediately escape to a location where the stalker can't find you, ask your neighbors and your workplace security to be your eyes and ears.
"Get yourself escorted to the parking lot, or escorted [into work] until the courts can make a difference or until laws change to allow civil commitment of people who are a danger to someone in the community. But the key thing is [to] limit your communication. Be very specific. Get separation, and until you can get separation, don't allow yourself to be alone," Welner said.
In the court papers she filed, Blanton said she met Troy when she was working at Hooters in Brevard County and he was a customer.
Blanton said she quit the job because Troy began to stalk her, but the harassment continued.
He would drive past her house, visit her at her new job and call her, Blanton said in her court filing.
She reported him to the police in an effort to get him to stop contacting her, she said.
In e-mails Troy sent Blanton, he repeatedly calls her a "tramp" and a "whore" and disparages her apparent weight gain. He also makes demeaning comment about her marriage in August.
"You are the poster girl for 'beauty is only skin deep,'" Troy, a Cocoa Beach, Fla., businessman, wrote in one of the emails that were part of Blanton's request for an order of protection.
Blanton and her husband, Brent, were co-workers, the Sentinel said.
On Monday they had lunch, returned to work, then headed in separate directions, Alissa Blanton's mother, Connie Hassell of Festus, Mo., told the Sentinel. Moments later, Hassell said, Brent Blanton received a phone call from his wife and she told him Troy was there.
A witness told police that Troy shot Blanton multiple times.
Her husband's 911 call to authorities reveals his anguish.
"Baby I love you," Brent Blanton could be heard saying to his bleeding wife. "Keep breathing. Oh my God, come on, baby."
He also told 911 operators, "This guy's been stalking my wife."
Blanton's death has domestic violence advocates questioning the legal system, saying it failed to protect her.
Troy's friends say they never suspected he was less than the person he appeared to be.
"We had no reason to think there was anything duplicitous about Roger, great sense of humor," Margo Gould, Troy's neighbor, told WFTV. "Sometimes the people that have these problems hide them the best, because he was just a good friend and neighbor to me and my husband."