Rep. Kimberly Pine Introduces “Karens Law” Bill… Video

House Bill 819, otherwise known as “Karen’s Law” has been introduced into the Legislature this session.


HB819 HD1
Crime; Minors Tried as Adults
Mandates minors aged 15-17 be tried as adults in cases of first and second degree murder. (HB819 HD1)

Click here to read the full bill.

“It has been nearly two years since Karen Ertell was allegedly raped and murdered by her 15 year old neighbor, and yet, justice has not been served. Current law requires victim’s families to endure not one, but two lengthy court proceedings if the alleged killer is a juvenile. A bill that was killed in the legislature in 2008 has been revived by Democrats and Republicans to ensure families suffer less in the process.
“We are happy that Karen’s Law is back up for review,” stated Malanie McLellan, Karen Ertell’s foster daughter. “Reliving my mother’s death twice for such a heinous crime has been devastating for my family.”
McLellan said House Bill 819, “Karen’s Law,” would eliminate the first court proceeding which allowed a judge to decide whether Vernon Bartley, the alleged murderer, would be tried as an adult or juvenile. If Bartley was tried as a juvenile, he could have been released from a juvenile facility after his 18th birthday. HB 819 requires that 15-17 year olds, charged with first or second degree murder, be automatically tried as an adult.
“The two court proceedings for such a rare horrible crime have been an emotional process for Karen’s family,” said Representative Kymberly Pine (R-43, Iroquois Point, Ewa Beach, Puuloa). “Every time they go to court they have to remember the day they found her body. Karen’s Law will be the first important step in sparing others their personal pain.”

Hawaii Reporters Malia Zimmerman interviews Malanie McLellan:


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