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Silent vigil will honor slain mom, daughter

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The Makiki mother and daughter who were killed in a murder-suicide in their home on Friday will be remembered during a silent march beginning at 5 p.m. today at the state Capitol.

The march, which will honor all victims of domestic violence, begins at the Capitol’s Father Damien statue and will stretch down Beretania Street.

Kristine Cass, 46, had decided to seek a temporary restraining order the night before she and Saundra, 13, were shot by Clayborne Conley, who then turned the gun on himself.

Conley, Cass’ ex-boyfriend and a former Hawaii National Guardsman, struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder and had a history of violent behavior.

As friends and family prepare for the vigil, state Rep. John Mizuno (D, Kamehameha Heights-Kalihi Valley-Fort Shafter) said yesterday he plans to reintroduce a bill that stalled last session which would create a pilot program to allow victims of domestic violence to file for protective orders electronically and after hours.

"If the courts are not open, you can electronically file for a TRO (temporary restraining order) or protective order," said Mizuno.

The three-year pilot program would be based on efforts in New Jersey and would require judges to rule on the requests at night and on weekends, Mizuno said. He had no estimate yesterday on the program’s cost.

Nanci Kreidman, chief executive officer of the Domestic Violence Action Center, testified against the bill yesterday and questioned its usefulness at a time when the Judiciary is stretched thin. "How would that have helped Kristine?" Kreidman asked.

Allowing electronic filing could also diminish an existing program in which trained advocates from the Domestic Violence Action Center counsel everyone filing for court protection, she said.

 

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