Lawmakers pass ankle monitor legislation prompted by Dallas hospital shooting

Ankle monitor legislation spurred by the fatal shooting of two workers inside Methodist Dallas Medical Center in October is headed to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, The Dallas Morning News reported May 9.

The legislation, which has passed the state House and Senate, would criminalize tampering with an electronic monitoring device.

Under the legislation, parolees and individuals released on bail who knowingly tamper with an electronic monitoring device will face a felony charge.

A parolee who removes their ankle monitor would be required to serve the rest of their original sentence, either consecutively or concurrently with the new sentence, according to The Dallas Morning News. It would not be a criminal offense if a healthcare care provider removed an ankle monitor for medical purposes.

The legislation was prompted by the shooting at Methodist Dallas. 

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 have said, according to The Dallas Morning News.

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, officials have said. 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.

The ankle monitor law would take effect in September. 

Additionally, the newspaper reported that other proposals in the Texas legislature would make assault of a worker in a hospital a third-degree felony. Also, notification to law enforcement and other officials would be required when a parolee has permission to visit a hospital.

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