Mom: Proposed Law 'Would Have Saved My Daughter's Life'

"Amanda's bill" would require domestic violence suspects to wear GPS trackers.

Jan. 11, 2010— -- At least a dozen states are now using GPS monitoring to try to keep those accused of domestic violence away from their victims, and Kentucky lawmakers might follow suit this week with a bill that hits very close to home. One of their former colleagues, Steve Nunn, was charged in the high-profile killing of ex-girlfriend Amanda Ross, for whom the bill is named.

Amanda Ross' mother said the law "would have saved my daughter's life if it would have been in place.

"She would not have stepped out her door that morning if she had had a GPS tracking device on her perpetrator," Diana Ross said today on "Good Morning America."

Steve Nunn, a former state legislator and son of the late Kentucky governor Louie Nunn, was deputy secretary of Kentucky's Health and Family Service agency last February when Ross reported him to the police on domestic violence charges.

A judge issued an order of protection against Nunn, 57, that ordered him to stay away from Ross, 29, and he lost his job. But Ross' family lost much more.

On Sept. 11, Ross was fatally shot as she walked to her car in downtown Lexington. Later that day, police found Nunn at his family's cemetery with his wrist slit, holding a gun. Nunn had just ordered a tombstone listing Sept. 11. as the date of his death. He said his injuries had been self-inflicted.

Nunn pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and violating a protection order, but could face the death penalty.

New Law Would Protect Victims, Proponents Say

Meanwhile, Ross' family is looking for more than a conviction. It's now pushing for new state legislation that would protect victims of domestic violence.

Diana Ross played a central role in the creation of "Amanda's bill," new state legislation that would require those served with orders of protection to wear a tracking device so police -- and potential victims -- could keep tabs on their whereabouts.

According to the federal Electronic Monitoring Resource Center at Denver University, 12 states currently have laws allowing judges to order people to wear GPS monitors that send an alarm to victims and police if the perpetrator enters areas restricted by the order of protection.

Friends and Family Feared for Amanda Ross' Safety

Steve Nunn ran unsuccessfully for the Republican gubernatorial nomination in 2003. He lost a bid for re-election to the State House in 2006 after 15 years as a state representative.

He returned to state government in 2007 as deputy secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services but was put on administrative leave in February after he was charged with domestic violence for allegedly slapping Ross. He resigned in March.

Ross, an employee of the Kentucky Department of Insurance, was found shot in the parking lot outside her residence at Opera House Square Town Homes, a gated community near Lexington's First Baptist Church. She had a licensed handgun in her possession at the time for her protection, and her mother said if her daughter had known Nunn was in the area she wouldn't have left her home.

Diana Ross first learned that her daughter feared for her safety when she filed for an order of protection in the spring of 2009.

"She told me that she thought it was the only way that she could get away from her perpetrator," Diana Ross said.

Friends said Ross knew her life was in danger.

"She knew something was going to happen," Alex Redgefield said.

But Kristi Russell said no one ever thought "it would get to that point."

Greg Stumbo, speaker of the Kentucky House of Representatives, said "Amanda's bill" would give victims "a fighting chance.

"Amanda Ross was what you'd want your daughter to be," he said.

Diana Ross said if the law is passed, other potential victims "would know that the perpetrator was in their space, and they would have time to call the police or have their own protection available."

She doesn't believe the law would violate a suspect's presumption of innocence.

"If you're innocent, if you were wearing a GPS device it would prove that you were where you said you were," she said.

Remembering Amanda Ross

Diana Ross said she hoped other women in similar situations "would be brave like Amanda and report it to the police and use the system ... and if they have this GPS device you would know that your perpetrator was in your space and you would have time to get protection."

She wants her daughter to be remembered "for her laugh, and her beautiful grin, and her wonderful witty humor."

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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