Father of domestic violence victim rallies for stricter laws

Posted at 3:57 PM, Jun 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-06 16:57:15-04

The father of a Crowley woman whose husband is charged in connection with her murder is calling on Acadiana legislators to step up domestic violence and protective order laws.

Heather Mouton was found shot and killed in her Acadia Parish home last month, two weeks after records show she filed a restraining order against her estranged husband.

Mouton’s husband, Demetric Savoy, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder.

Now, Mouton’s father is on a mission to make sure cases like his daughter’s stop happening.

"I could not have asked for a better daughter than Heather. She was a very outgoing, loving child and never gave me a moment’s trouble, just a wonderful spirit and would help anybody that she can," said Dr. Tracy Andrus, Mouton’s father.

Andrus said when met with domestic violence abuse at the hands of her husband, the 37-year-old mother of three did everything by the book to protect herself.   

"She did everything she was supposed to do. She filed a restraining order against her husband," said Andrus.

Despite the protective order in place, weeks later, Heather was found dead.

"They’re not worth the paper they’re written on because it offers no protection to the abused, the people who actually file the restraining orders," said Andrus.

That’s where Heather’s Law comes in. Andrus is determined to strengthen restrictions on protective orders and up the ante on the consequences for violating them. It’s his wish to do it all in his late daughter’s name.

To make Heather’s Law a reality, Andrus is looking to Louisiana legislators for support. 

"I will always be in support of protecting victims of domestic abuse violence. That’s something that we need to eliminate in our culture," said Rep. John Stefanski.

Andrus already has his own ideas on how to start that elimination process.

"Having both persons, the plaintiff and the defendant, fitted with a monitoring device, so that any time those persons come within a one-mile radius of each other, it would automatically alert law enforcement," said Andrus.

Stefanski sits on the House’s Criminal Justice Committee where he says he’ll do all that he can to help protect victims of domestic abuse, like Heather Mouton.

"In a situation such as this where we’ve had this tragedy, we have to make sure that we’re protecting our victims," said Stefanski.

Mouton’s father said letters will go out to selected lawmakers on Monday, requesting their sponsorship on a bill to create Heather’s Law.

"My daughter didn’t get a second chance. The first time he encountered her after he received the restraining order, he shot her in the head two times," said Andrus.