Committee passes bill named in honor of fallen police officer

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - A senate committee passed a bill on Thursday named in honor of a fallen Lexington Police Officer.

Senate Bill 15, known as The Bryan Durman Act, would strengthen sentences for crimes that are considered non-violent.

Officer Durman died in a hit and run crash in 2010. A jury convicted Glenn Doneghy of second-degree manslaughter in the case. He's serving a prison sentence for Durman's death, but could be out on parole as early as next April because the crime isn't considered non-violent.

Durman's widow, Brandy, testified in front of the committee.

"I can assure you, I saw my husband in the hospital and there was nothing non-violent about his death," Durman told lawmakers.

People who oppose the bill also testified, pointing out the complications.

"This bill, Senate Bill 15, has an emotional appeal," said Ernie Lewis, with the Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. "But, it takes away discretion from judges; judges who've been elected; who were elected to weigh the facts of the crime and the circumstances of the defendant when considering sentencing."

Doneghy is only required to serve 20% percent of his sentence. If this bill becomes law, it would change it to 85% for non-violent offenders.

The bill passed with one "no" vote. It will now go on to a full senate.

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