Andrew was killed by his mentally ill single father, Billy, inside their Farmington apartment in 2012. Andrew was left in Billy’s care, even though he put Andrew’s life in danger during a shoot-out with police just months before and was committed at Magnolia Regional Health Center.
District 2 Rep. Nick Bain (D-Alcorn) sponsored the bill, which the governor signed into law on March 27, that will help prevent children from being left in the care of a mentally ill parent.
“I was the public defender in Alcorn County when Andrew was killed. I have first hand knowledge of that horrible act and knew I wanted to do something to honor Andrew,” said Bain. “His memory will live on with this law.”
The new state law will require hospitals and law enforcement to turn over any suspicion of child neglect to DHS.
“The law reads that when a person is committed a pre-evaluation must be preformed,” Bain said. “There will now be family related questions on the form like how many children the patient has. If there is a child in the patients care, the hospital must contact DHS.”
Bain said the new law will not cost the state any extra money because the staff is already in place.
The law will go into effect on July 1.