A law that would strengthen the sentences for child abusers who severely injure children unanimously passed the N.C. House on Tuesday.
Rep. Craig Horn, a Republican from Weddington, said the bill would increase the punishments for five child abuse-related felonies. For the worst cases of abuse, an offender currently could serve a maximum of 15 years in prison. Under the bill, that would rise to a maximum of nearly 33 years.
The measure, dubbed Kilahs Law, is named for Kilah Davenport, who was 3 years old last May when she was hospitalized with severe brain damage and a fractured skull. Authorities say she was beaten by her stepfather, Joshua Houser, who remains in jail as he awaits trial.
In the last few weeks, the Union County girl has regained function in her right arm. She starts horseback therapy next week, which would help with muscle tone and stimulate walking, said her mother, Kirbi.
This tragedy turned into something amazing, Kirbi Davenport said. Republicans and Democrats came together.
If the bill passes, the Davenports plan to travel to Raleigh to see it signed. Staff writer Jim Morrill contributed.