VA Governor Signs Bill Requiring Cop Killers Serve No Less Than Life In Prison

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam signed SB 1501 which requires cop killers to serve a minimum of life in prison.

Richmond, VA – Virginia Governor Ralph Northam on Thursday signed into law a bill that would require cop killers to serve a minimum of life in prison for their crime.

Virginia Senate Bill 1501 said that anyone convicted of the capital murder of a member of law enforcement must spend a minimum of life in prison, WTVR reported.

Virginia includes fire marshals or deputy or assistant fire marshals, auxiliary deputy sheriffs, or any law-enforcement officer of another state or the United States who has the power to arrest in its definition of a law enforcement officer for the purposes of the legislation.

The legislation is dedicated to the memory of Virginia State Police Special Agent Mike Walter, who was gunned down during a traffic stop on May 26, 2017.

Agent Walter, assigned to the Bureau of Criminal Investigations' Drug Enforcement Section, was doing a high-visibility patrol with several Richmond police officers in the 1900-block of Redd Street when they encountered a Silver Chevrolet Cobalt parked the wrong way on the street, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.

Travis Ball, the passenger, got into an altercation with Agent Walter and shot him in the head, WVVA reported.

Ball fled the scene and was captured several hours later in Northumberland County.

Agent Walter, an 18-year veteran of the Virginia State Police, was transported to Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center for emergency treatment.

He succumbed to his wounds early on the morning of May 27, 2017, the Officer Down Memorial Page reported.

Agent Walter was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran. He is survived by his wife and three children.

SB 1501 was introduced after Ball, Agent Walter’s killer, entered an Alford plea to capital murder and received a suspended life sentence. He was ordered to serve only 36 years, WVVA reported.

“I am beyond thankful and humbled,” Agent Walter’s wife, Jaime Walter, told WTVR. “I can now believe in the justice system, our law enforcement officers can believe in the justice system, and most importantly, our children can believe in the justice system and see that accountability for your actions will happen.”

Former Virginia State Trooper and now retiring Virginia State Senator Bill Carrico sponsored the legislation after he saw an interview Jaime Walter gave regarding her husband’s killer’s sentence.

“I am hoping this sends a clear message to anyone who targets a police officer in Virginia, you will now face life locked away or death,” Carrico told WTVR. “Now those men and women that fought this courageous battle against evil can rest in peace knowing that no one else will walk away with a slap on the wrist for taking their lives.”

Jaime Walter said she had expected Ball to have gotten at least 50 years behind bars for killing her husband. Despite her own heartache, she worked hard to pass SB 1501 so no other family would have to see its loved one’s killer walking the streets in their lifetime.

“While this will not help my husband’s case, it will help future capital murder cases of law enforcement officers,” said Walter.

Capital murder is a Class 1 felony, which carries a sentence of life in prison and a $100,000 fine. If the defendant is over the age of 18, Class 1 felonies may be punishable by death, according to WSET.

A public signing ceremony for SB 1501 will be scheduled in April.

Comments (22)
No. 1-18
Mrs10
Mrs10

Excellent move, Virginia! Now the other States need to follow suit. Also, I think I know where we'll be trying to vacation from now on!

RIDGERUNNER
RIDGERUNNER

YES.. Great move Virginia. I admit that I am rather surprised that Virginia would lead this move because they are so liberal.

Jimhilton911
Jimhilton911

Cop killers? How about no less then the needle!

LEO0301
LEO0301

This bill should not only be in Virginia but every state in the union. Surprised that a governor who supports killing children would back this bill....

TexasStrong
TexasStrong

Virginia led this because of the abortion scandal. And I think all cop killers should get the death penalty.

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

How is "capital murder of a member of law enforcement" different than mere "murder of a member of law enforcement"? Or are these two things really the same thing?

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

"anyone convicted of the capital murder of a member of law enforcement must spend a minimum of life in prison" I don't think this passes Constitutional muster in situations where the convicted murderer was under 18 when she kills the LEO.

Gramercy
Gramercy

Over the top that he signed a bill for those that kill our police....but possibly was it to assuage his guilt over signing to kill newborns? How does this governor's mind work? Almost too much of a dichotomy for belief!

gfc1963
gfc1963

The minimum sentance for killing a cop should be the DEATH sentence, not life in jail, fed and watered by the taxpayer.

Truthrulestheday
Truthrulestheday

Good start. Now, with this foothold, work for mandatory death sentences for cop-killers.......you know, like the state does for unwanted babies!

Stanracer
Stanracer

Surprize....a politician with a spine. Love it! Good job.👍

BuddyA
BuddyA

It's a good start but Dr's, PA's. NP's, RN's, and EMT's of all levels save lives, and have weapons pulled on them. Those professionals are every bit as important as LEO's. YES, i am a Paramedic & YES, I have friends/Relatives/Extended family in Law Enforcement, Medicine, and Fire Dept's. ALL OUR LIVES MATTER.

Chief Deputy
Chief Deputy

Thank you Gov. Northam.

Tech2
Tech2

One of the BEST stories I've read in a long time!! Glad he has the guts to sign this into law.

ElectricElantra
ElectricElantra

Finally a state standing up for law enforcement!! lets hope more states will follow this!!

Signal10
Signal10

When did it stop being a capital murder crime punishable by death everywhere? That's how much ground we've all lost in this battleground for those we care about the most. Used to be a time in this country when it was unheard of to kill a cop just for this reason, now their lives are no more important than the unborn at the democratic run kill shelters.

joaquinradioman
joaquinradioman

Personally, I've always felt that it should be a federal crime when you kill a law enforcement officer, punishable by death!!!

Chrislee87
Chrislee87

Should be the same for cops abusing there power as a enforcement person like for the suicidal fella in the hospital bed only getting 6 years and the young lady that supposedly shot herself while handcuffed in the back