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Gov. Edwards vetoes “David’s Law” in honor of former Sterlington Police Sergeant David Elahi

The bill would have made it harder for people convicted of killing police officers to get good behavior time in jail.
Published: Jun. 20, 2022 at 10:11 PM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - Senator Stewart Cathey (R-33) is reacting after Governor John Bel Edwards vetoed his bill, which would make it harder for people convicted of killing police officers to earn good behavior time in jail.

“I’m not going to say I’m completely shocked, but obviously, I am disappointed that it was vetoed,” Cathey told KNOE.

The bill dubbed “David’s Law” was written in honor of former Sterlington Police Sergeant David Elahi. Elahi was killed in 2016 when he was struck by a driver while working traffic on Highway 165.

“When it hits this close to home, there is definitely disappointment,” said Cathey.

Elahi’s killer, Tracy Govan, was convicted of vehicular and negligent homicide and sentenced to 15 years, but is scheduled to be released in October due to good behavior.

“Somebody who kills someone coming home in four years, that is a flaw in the system,” explained Cathey.

Govan did have alcohol in his system, but officers could not determine if he was over the legal limit at the time of the accident.

“A situation like this, where you’ve got an obvious drunk driver, gets behind the wheel and kills someone, I don’t think they should be getting out in four years, no matter how model of a prisoner they are,” said Senator Cathey.

Cathey adds he will try and pass the legislation next year, but for now, it’s up to judges and district attorneys to do what is right.

“Holding all our judges and DA’s accountable for making sure that we are charging people appropriately to recognize that we can actually have people serve a stiffer sentence,” said Cathey.

In his veto statement, Governor Edwards said the following.

“This bill would unfairly treat a person convicted of a crime of negligence the same as a person convicted of an intentional crime.”

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