FLORENCECS – The death of Taylor McFadden Robinson inspired a member of the South Carolina General Assembly to draft a bill.
State Rep. Cezar McKnight, a Democrat representing most of Williamsburg County, on Tuesday introduced a bill that would give magistrates the power to issue seven days ex parte protective orders.
ex parte is a Latin term meaning done in the interest of one party without consulting the other party concerned.
Robinson, a 29-year-old real estate agent, was found dead in her home on January 23.
Her husband, Duncan Allen Robinson Jr., 31, has been charged with her murder.
“Taylor McFadden Robinson should always be with us,” McKnight said. “She suffered abuse that could have been saved if magistrates had the power to issue protective orders. My bill gives them that power in certain circumstances so that people like Ms. Robinson can get immediate protection.
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McKnight said he was inspired to draft the bill because Robinson was unable to obtain a protective order.
Robinson’s sister told the court during Duncan Robinson’s bail hearing that her sister applied for a protective order, but it was denied. Robinson was charged with murder, first degree burglary and possession of a weapon in a violent crime.
A local TV station reported that family court records show the protective order was denied because the alleged facts do not prove she was abused.
“It told me that the system was broken and that we needed to do something to ensure that victims of domestic violence got the protection they needed,” McKnight said.
McKnight said his bill received strong bipartisan support.
The bill’s co-sponsors include Democrats Pat Henegan, Krystle Matthews, Beth Bernstein, Wendy Brawley and Spencer Wetmore and Republicans Rita Allison, Ashley Trantham, Shannon Erickson, Melissa Oremus and Sylleste Davis.
McKnight said a companion bill would be introduced in the Senate.