Okla. Lawmaker Says More Support Is Needed For Domestic Violence Victims

This week’s murder-suicide in Logan County brought to light the domestic violence issues in the state. Oklahoma ranks second in the nation for women killed by men, according to the Oklahoma Domestic Violence Fatality Review Board. 

Friday, June 14th 2024, 5:34 pm

By: News 9, Deanne Stein


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This week’s murder-suicide in Logan County brought to light the domestic violence issues in the state.

Oklahoma ranks second in the nation for women killed by men, according to the Oklahoma Domestic Violence Fatality Review Board. 

DVFRB research shows that Oklahoma has averaged 114 domestic violence homicide victims between 2019 and 2022. As lawmakers try to strengthen laws, they say more needs to be done in the early stages to prevent these tragedies. 

“It’s horrific,” said Rep. Jon Echols (R-Cleveland Co.). “During my time in the legislature, I focused on domestic violence issues.”

He says regarding Monday’s murder-suicide in Logan County, all the red flags were there. “This is someone that needs intervention right away,” Echols said.

Court papers show Jose Alaniz was facing two counts of domestic abuse by strangulation against his wife, Catalina Jimenez.

“The level of anger and just rage that it takes to actually do that this is a deeply troubled individual,” said Echols.

This is why Echols says he helped pass a bill to make domestic abuse by strangulation a felony. “When we see that, we need to be afraid and really work towards not having the next step which moves on to murder,” he said.

Unfortunately, that’s what happened on Monday. A search warrant shows Alaniz drove to work to a hotel in Edmond, stole a black SUV, and followed his wife to a home in the 3400 block of Wildwood in northern Edmond. 

Investigators say that’s when he got out of the car shot his wife to death, then turned the gun on himself.

“This victim did nothing wrong,” Echols said. “This victim was taking all of the steps that they needed to take which is a lesson for all of us.”

Court documents show Jimenez did have a protective order against her husband.

“I don't know that anything would have changed in this case, but I do know the need to continue to look at the data and move forward to protect domestic violence victims especially in these extreme cases by strangulation,” Echols said. “We just have to decide as Oklahomans we're done and we're not going to do this anymore.”

Echols says while they are not foolproof, victims still need to file a VPO sooner rather than later.

“This is about setting up those protections so when the harassment when the stalking when the continued abuse happens law enforcement has the ability to step in and do something about it,” Echols said.

Echols also says he is working to stiffen penalties against those convicted of domestic abuse. If you are a victim of abuse, you can file a VPO at your local county courthouse. If you need additional emergency assistance, click here for resources: https://www.ywcaokc.org/programs/domestic-violence-services/

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