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Sheykhet Family Continues Push for Alina’s Law

by Shirley Petropoulos

Alina Sheykhet, a former student of Pitt Greensburg, was killed inside her Oakland apartment on Oct 8 2017 by another former student, Matthew Darby.

Sheykhet had a PFA against Darby, which he violated. A PFA is a Protection From Abuse which is usually ordered by a judge after someone files for one against a person they do not feel safe around .

Sheyket had dated Darby and ended the relationship because she did not feel safe around him anymore. After her murder, Darby was the only suspect and he was arrested. In Oct. 2018, Darby was found guilty for the murder of Ms. Sheyket and was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole.

After her murder, there was a petition to help create a law that would stop people from being able to violate a PFA.

Sheyket’s family and close friends have been trying to get a law passed that would prevent PFAs from being violated. The law would allow judges to require defendants that have PFAs to wear electronic monitoring devices if they present a risk of violating the PFA. This law was presented to lawmakers over a year ago.

The law has not been passed yet because the ACLU has raised issues with law calling it one step below house arrest.

Senator Jay Costa’s office, who is a co-sponsor of the bill, mentioned that “there is no reason for the house to sit on the bill.”

The bill is currently sitting in the House of the Judiciary Committee and has yet to be approved. The Senate has passed the bill, but the house is worried that passing the bill would in a way be putting people on house arrest but not really on house arrest.

While the House is the sitting on Alina’s Law, Congress was able to pass another law just recently that would make it possible for anyone that has a PFA against them to relinquish any guns they own.

The House is very uneasy about passing Alina’s Law because there is no clear indicator if there is a way for a person to have the monitor taken off of them. However, the Senate passed the bill unanimously and it was passed much more quickly than the House, who still needs to approve the law. Alina’s law was created to help save lives, so something like what happened to her, never happens again.

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