Advocates for abused women and law enforcement officials want to know how the man suspected of killing Teri Lee, a widowed mother of four in Minnesota, remained free after violating a judge’s no-contact order, reports the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Steven Van Keuren’s case is the only suspectrs in the killings of Lee and her boyfriend. Van Keuren, 46, is recovering from gunshot wounds received while being apprehended by a SWAT team.
Minnesota’s domestic violence laws are as tough or tougher than most states. The slayings have women’s advocates and some justice system experts calling for reassessments of how police, prosecutors, and judges deal with men like Van Keuren when they violate court orders to stay away from abuse victims. Improvements being discussed include adding no-contact orders in domestic violence cases to a statewide computer database that police can access instantly. Critics note that in the Van Keuren case, Lee told investigators that he said “they could be together forever” if he killed her. ee described how Van Keuren had trapped her in a corner and tried to stab her. “There’s no doubt in my mind that he will come back to my home,” she told the judge at Van Keuren’s bail hearing in August.