Family of shooting victim calls for reform to protective order laws

Alisha Waters
Alisha Waters

(FOX19) - The family of a woman shot by her estranged husband at her workplace in Ft. Thomas is making a call for action.

Alisha Waters is in critical, but stable, condition at UC Medical Center.

Her family says she's still on a ventilator and can't move her arms or legs. Doctors have told the family she could regain some use of her arms, but likely won't walk again.

"She does have some feeling in the insides of her arms.  But, we're never giving up.  Someday she will walk again," said her mother Tammy Russell.

Her estranged husband, D.J. Mathis, killed himself in the attempted murder-suicide on August 6.

Waters tried to file an order of protection in Kenton County against Mathis months before the shooting. However, the efforts were denied.

As she's recovering, her family says protective order laws need changed to stop something like this from happening to someone else.

"Obviously she feared for the safety of herself. I have that quote memorized.  'I'm in fear for the safety of myself and my two dogs.'  What else has to happen in order to get that EPO granted," asked her stepbrother Kurt Russell.

The quote came from her protective order application. Also on it, Waters wrote her husband was being "verbally abusive" and called her up to "186 times in a matter of two weeks."

"Cyberstalking and emailing and stuff like that, and social media, isn't part of that law which is one thing we want to get added is cyberstalking and email. 186 calls in two weeks is a lot," added Russell.

Mike Hummel, an attorney in Covington, says based upon the information presented, Kenton County Judge Lisa Bushelman made the right decision as far as the law goes.

He says in 2010, protective order laws in Kentucky were changed after an incident similar to Waters'.

"I think the changes that were made back in 2010 were the appropriate ones, and if there's appropriate ones that can be made in 2013, absolutely, let's do that, but I don't want to change the law simply for the sake of changing it," said Hummel.

Waters' family says they're doing all of this for Alisha.

"From her bed, this is what she wants. She wants to protect other women from having to go through the same thing she's going through now. This is one of her wishes," Russell told FOX19.

In our commitment to balanced news, we have tried to talk to Bushelman both in person and on the phone. Our requests were denied at the time, and we were referred to a court spokesperson in Frankfort, Ky.

Mathis bought the gun used in the shootings one day prior to the incident, passing the background check necessary to purchase the weapon.

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