Legislators are quickly moving foward with a bill drafted in response to a Scottsdale woman’s murder by an ex-convict who had a violent history in and out of prison.
Senate Bill 1020, which was drafted by state Sen. Jim Waring, R-Phoenix, passed by a 6-1 vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday, the first day of the 2007 legislative session.
The bill, which Waring said has been in the works since June, would require longer sentences for prison inmates found guilty of violations while incarcerated.
The bill will be heard by the Senate’s Rules Committee, likely next week.
Nicole Traxler, a 36-yearold Scottsdale mother and popular restaurateur, was shot and killed in her home by Thomas Bliven on Mother’s Day while her 12-year-old son hid in a closet and called 911.
Bliven, a former high school boyfriend of Traxler’s, spent 14 years in prison for murdering another high school girlfriend. Bliven shot and killed himself the day after police said he killed Traxler.
In 1999, Bliven was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison by a Pinal County Superior Court judge for throwing hot water in another inmate’s face, causing
However, the judge ruled that the conviction be included with his second-degree murder sentence and deemed the prison incident nondangerous and likely to be nonrepetitive, according to state and court documents.
Traxler’s father, Frank Meglio, and Traxler’s brotherin-law, Jay Macklin, testified in favor of the bill on Monday.
“I think we made a good step forward,” Meglio said. “I hope the bill goes forward because it will be a good thing. If someone in prison does something to someone else, they should pay the consequences.”
Sen. Richard Miranda, D-Phoenix, cast the lone dissenting vote, according to information from Waring’s office.