Murder victim's family files lawsuit

April 1, 2009 3:27:21 PM PDT
The family of a woman who was shot and killed outside of a Chicago church last year is suing the city and state over her death.Mercedes McCauley was gunned down by a former friend who was out of prison on parole.

McCauley's family claims he should have been behind bars at the time of her killing. On Wednesday, they're talking about their lawsuit and their loss.

It's been almost one year since Mercedes McCauley was killed. The Mercedes McCauley Bill is being considered by the state legislature. It strengthens the supervision of parolees and requires the department of corrections to issue a warrant if the parole is arrested for domestic violence.

The McCauley family says it's a step toward keeping victims safe.

The McCauley brothers never imagined they would be strategizing with an attorney to take on the state. They worked hard, achieved success raised good kids. But the murder of Brewster McCauley's daughter catapulted them into action.

"We've been working to get over the pain. We hope that legislators will act. And be proactive to stop these things from happening again," said Brewster McCauley, father.

Mercedes McCauley was working on her m-b-a. She wanted to go into finance and real estate. She'd already begun acquiring property when she hired a handy man to help.

That handy man was Glenford Martinez who was on parole for murder. In November 2007 Martinez allegedly tried to strangle McCauley in Chicago. The charge was reported to the department of corrections but no warrant was issued, according to state officials.

Five months after the incident on April 6, 2008, police say Martinez waited at Green and Chicago for McCauley to leave church.

McCauley, a 22-year-old with so many dreams yet unfulfilled, was shot and killed by Martinez, according to investigators.

Martinez killed himself a short time later.

Brewster McCauley is suing the department of corrections and the city of Chicago. He and the family want any gap in system closed so that domestic violence victims are protected.

"If there's something that we can do as a family to make a difference in the lives of others, to some degree, that's the responsibility that we have. I want to do everything that I can to help," said Dr. Peter McCauley, uncle.

The McCauley's do not look forward to remembering the devastating details of Mercedes murder on the anniversary of her death, but they do look forward to protecting other woman and protecting other families from this enduring pain.

The city of Chicago did not have information on the suit. The Department of Corrections say it has changed it policy as a result of this case. So that a warrant is issued for a parole charged with domestic violence.

The McCauley's also hope to see required communication between law enforcement and the department of corrections on these issues.


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