"Kathy's Law" would toughen restraining order monitoring - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

"Kathy's Law" would toughen restraining order monitoring

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ENCINITAS (CBS 8) - The family of a Carlsbad woman who was allegedly strangled to death by her ex-boyfriend is now pushing for a new state law to toughen domestic violence restraining orders.

"I don't want any family to ever feel the pain that we've had," said Ginny Scharbarth, the mother of Kathy Scharbarth, speaking at a vigil for victims of homicidal violence Wednesday night.

Prosecutors say the 34-year-old mother was strangled to death by her ex-boyfriend, Michael Robles, on Thanksgiving eve last year. Robles had allegedly been lying in wait, hidden in Scharbarth's living apartment, when he killed her.

The week before she was killed, Kathy Scharbarth had taken out a restraining order against Robles.

"we need to protect (these victims) with more than just a piece of paper," Kathy's mother told News 8. "That did not save Kathy's life."

"Kathy's Law," proposed by Assembly member Ben Hueso, would allow judges to order those named in domestic violence restraining orders to wear GPS tracking devices. Their potential victims would then carry a special beeper.

"Whenever the perpetrator is within a certain distance of the victim, the alarm will go off and they will have a chance to protect themselves and react," said Yolanda Apalategui, district director for Hueso.

Kathy's mother believes this legislation would have protected her daughter.

"I am sure it would have saved her life," she said. "She would never walked in to that. He was lying in wait."

Last week, Ginny Scharbarth testified in front of the Assembly's public safety committee in Sacramento to lobby for this law, which would require the suspect named in the restraining order to pay for the GPS device.

"I don't know how you put a price on life, on human life, but I know that our daughter's life is priceless, as well as all the other lives," Ginny Scharbarth said.

This proposed legislation for "Kathy's Law" has already been approved by the Assembly's Public Safety Committee and has been waived through the Judicial Committee. It is now headed to the Appropriations Committee, and could be voted on by the entire legislature this fall.

Last month, Michael Robles hanged himself in his jail cell in Vista, before being tried for Kathy Scharbarth's murder.

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