Dallas hospital shooting prompts proposed ankle monitor legislation

The fatal shooting of two workers inside Methodist Dallas Medical Center in October has spurred proposed legislation targeting ankle monitors, The Dallas Morning News reported March 6. 

Nestor Hernandez was charged with capital murder after he allegedly shot a nurse and a caseworker, who died from their injuries. 

Mr. Hernandez, who is accused of shooting Jaqueline Pokuaa, 45, and Katie "Annette" Flowers, 63, was a parolee with an ankle monitor. He arrived at the hospital Oct. 22 after receiving permission to be at the hospital because his girlfriend had given birth to their child, officials said.

Mr. Hernandez, who was on parole for aggravated robbery, had previously cut off his ankle monitor after serving time in prison for the aggravated robbery, according to The Dallas Morning News. Glen Fowler, Methodist Health System's police chief, has said police were not warned that Mr. Hernandez would be at the hospital, according to the newspaper.

Now, Texas state Rep. Rafael Anchía has proposed new bills to address ankle monitor violations.  

Among other changes, the proposed legislation would allow parolees to visit only a hospital's emergency care unit unless the parolee receives permission from a parole officer, according to news station KERA

According to The Dallas Morning News, the proposed legislation could also lead to stricter penalties for people who cut off their ankle monitors and require that law enforcement and other officials are notified when a parolee is allowed to visit a hospital.

Additionally, the newspaper reported that the proposed legislation would make assault of a hospital worker in a hospital a third-degree felony. Also, if a parolee has permission to visit, the hospital would not be liable for damages resulting from the visit.

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