Gov. JB Pritzker signs 'Colton's Law' and others to protect domestic violence survivors

Colton's Law honors 18-month-old boy fatally shot in his crib by his father in 2019

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Friday, August 20, 2021
Pritzker signs 'Colton's Law' to protect domestic violence survivors
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Gov. JB Pritzker signed "Colton's Law" and a series of bills to strengthen protections for victims of domestic violence.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A woman whose 18-month-old son was murdered two years ago by his father, saw her work on behalf of victims become a reality Friday.

Governor JB Pritzker signed into law a series of bills to strengthen protections for victims of domestic violence, including one of those laws named in honor of that little boy.

Cassandra Tanner Miller shared hugs with lawmakers who helped her honor her son Colton, who was 18 months only when he was shot 10 times in his crib by Miller's estranged abusive husband.

"I send this up to my son, you know. Yeah. Happy second angel date, I hope I made you proud," Miller said.

National Guardsman Michael Miller had his FOID card revoked, but still kept his weapons. He killed himself after shooting his son in September 2019.

"She pleaded for help - not to just one government agency, not to just the court system, not just to the military in which he was serving. She was begging for help and we failed her," said State Rep. David Welter (R- Morris), who sponsored the bill.

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Pritzker signed Colton's Law, which creates a task force to establish uniform statewide systems to protect victims of domestic violence and hold offenders accountable.

"It's been emotional, like every part of this journey has been for me," Miller said.

It was one of seven bills the governor signed Friday to support victims and survivors.

"While our work to make Illinois a safer and more compassionate state for survivors is not done, I am truly heartened by the steps that we are taking today," Pritzker said.

Miller believes her son would still be alive if these laws had been in place two years ago.

"You know, Colton right now would be running around and playing, and I'd be preparing him for preschool to start this week and my daughter would have a little brother, who would look out the window and be watching her when she came home from school," Miller said.

She is hoping that her story, along with Colton's Law, will encourage other victims of domestic violence to know they are not alone and there is now more support for them.