Petition for stricter penalties if a child is killed in domestic disputes gains support

GLENS FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – As a memorial grows outside the home where Crystal Riley and her young daughter were killed, a petition is also growing trying to protect other young children from the same fate.

It’s been over a month since Riley and her 4-year-old daughter Lilly Fraiser were murdered senselessly in their Glens Falls home. As investigators continue to try to get to the bottom of why suspect Bryan Redden allegedly killed them, people who live in the area haven’t forgotten the grieving family.

“It touched me in a way to truly get this word out by any means,” Robert Pemberton, of the Stop the Violence Movement, said.

To Pemberton, the young mother and daughter were strangers, but he says their tragic story moved him to create this petition. One that he hopes will strengthen the state penalty for killing a child.

“We need our local politicians and law enforcement to come together and say no more.”

Lilly’s Law, as he’s calling it, would make killing a child during a domestic dispute a charge that is punishable by up to life in prison without parole.

Online, Pemberton’s petition has already garnered nearly 6,000 signatures. On paper, he’s gotten hundreds more going door to door with his organization Stop the Violence Movement.

“A lot of people that get caught get sentenced that don’t fit the crime, they’re far too lenient”

Crystal Riley’s mother and Lilly’s grandmother Maryellen says she supports the petition. In a statement sent to NEWS10 ABC, she writes:

“At a time of indescribable pain, this brings a glimmer of hope. The hope that a harsh punishment just might prevent another brutal and senseless act and could save a life.”

Local state Senator Betty Little (45th District) also backing the idea.

“Yes, I’ll support it. We have to look with the lawyers and see how you amend the law and deal with the committee on corrections and criminal justice, which I serve on that committee as well,” Sen. Little said.

Sen. Little says increasing penalties is never an easy task, but she’s up to the challenge.

“I have two daughters and I have grandchildren about the same age and it’s tragic and you just put yourself in their shoes and say oh my golly how would you deal with this.”

Also a father to young children, Pemberton says he hopes to bring the petition before Governor Andrew Cuomo in the next few weeks.

Pemberton says if you would like to add your name to the petition all you have to do is go to the website.

The governor’s office is already responding to the petition. In a statement, a spokesperson said:

“We would consider any legislation that will protect our youngest and most vulnerable New Yorkers.”

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