PROTECTION FROM ABUSE ORDERS | WHAT ARE THEY AND DO THEY WORK?
We’re still learning more disturbing information about 51-year-old Kenneth Lever.
He’s suspected of shooting and killing three adults in Gardendale on Wednesday morning before turning the gun on himself several hours later in Florida.
An all-day manhunt came to an end on Wednesday evening, as police closed in on lever in a credit union parking lot in Pensacola.
Lever stepped out of his vehicle and shot himself before he could be apprehended.
We now know that Dana lever, his ex-wife had appealed to our legal system to protect her and her 11-year-old daughter from him, having a Protection From Abuse Order out on Kenneth Lever.
Those efforts didn’t keep him from ambushing Dana and two of her adult family members.
How do protection orders work? Do they work? And, what do you need to know if you ever feel threatened by someone?
Those are just a few questions WVUA 23 asked Tuscaloosa County District Attorney Jonathan Cross.
a protection against abuse order is what is known as the shield against domestic violence.
it’s a civil proceeding used to protect victims from future crimes or harassment from the person they are seeking protection from.
“It affords a lot of protections to a victim,” Cross said about the orders. “But at the same time it is only as good as if the defendant complies with it.”
In her petition for protection from abuse filed in December of 2016, Dana Lever wrote ” I believe he, Kenneth Lever, is abusing our 1-year-old daughter when he has unsupervised visitation.
My daughter is a different person when she returns home. She’s very clingy to me and will not let me leave her.
She wants to sleep in my bed and with the lights on.”
It’s unknown what prompted Kenneth Lever to allegedly kill, but Cross says protection orders can in some cases make a bad situation worse.
“When you face then decision whether or not to get a protection from abuse order, you always face the weighing of is this going to make the decision worse or make it better,” he said. “You don’t want to poke the tiger and make the situation worse which often can occur. You are asking someone who stressed, who has been abused to make that decision. So it’s a tough call to make. ”
Is there something else that can be done legally to protect those who feel threatened?
“No no,” Cross told WVUA 23. “We have safe houses and there there are plenty of organizations that will assist victims or people who are being abused to try to find them a safe place where they cannot be found.”
Dana Lever’s order against her ex-husband Kenneth Lever did not stop him from ambushing and killing her and two others.
“It did not work in this case. But i’m not sure what would have worked,” Cross said.