LEXINGTON (WKYT) - Governor Beshear described today as bittersweet, as he marked the three year anniversary of Officer Bryan Durman's death by signing SB 15, known as the Bryan Durman Act, into law.
The bill sets a higher parole eligibility threshold for crimes that result in the line-of-duty death of a peace officer or fire fighter.
Officer Durman was killed in 2010 by a hit-and-run driver. Glenn Doneghy was convicted of second-degree manslaughter and must serve 20 percent of his 20-year sentence before becoming eligible for parole in 2014.
"Today we grieve with Officer Durman's wife and son," explains Kentucky State Governor, Steve Beshear, "but we celebrate today as well as we sign into act Senate Bill 15. A bill that will better protect those in uniform."
Many perceived this as a light sentence, which sparked Senate Bill 15. Now, those convicted of second-degree manslaughter of a clearly identified police officer or firefighter would have to serve 85 percent of the sentence.
Although this doesn't impact Officer Durman's case, his wife, Brandy, tells us it'll impact other first responders in the future. "We can't bring him back, but we have his memory live on," explains Officer Durman's wife, Brandy, "this will help protect our brothers and sisters in red and in blue. His kind spirit and warm heart will live on through this bill. We never thought we'd get so far but are so grateful we have."
The bill will go into effect on June 1st.
Officer Durman is the 18th officer in Fayette County to lose his life in the line of duty.