INDIANAPOLIS — WRTV is examining why legal protections for victims of domestic violence don’t always work as expected.
Kristal Walton dropped her child off at a daycare in Indianapolis last Friday when the father of her youngest child shot and killed her.
In March 2021, father Orlando Mitchell was charged with assault, intimidation, strangulation and imprisonment. He was sentenced this July; part of his sentence was a no-contact order against Walton. She also filed a protective order against him.
Two warrants against Mitchell were also filed. Once for a probation violation in August and another for entering her home and contacting her in September. An advocate for victims of domestic violence said the case was unusual because Walton fought to the end.
“This is not to blame anyone in particular, but the system has failed us. We as a domestic violence agency are trying to come together and see where the gap between the system, victims and survivors is, and to close that gap, ” said Danyette Smith, director of domestic violence prevention for the City of Indianapolis.
Walton’s fight for help has turned into a conversation about proper protection to help save lives from domestic violence.
“I know how I feel, with so many victims on the other side of the camera, on the other side of the TV watching this, they’re like, I shouldn’t do anything. If the system fails her, then I’ll fail too ,” Smith said.
Krystal Walton, a mother of two, was allegedly killed by the father of her youngest child outside a daycare centre on Friday morning, unsettling many across the ring.
By the time of the fatal incident, Walton had an active protective order against Mitchell, barring contact.
“Sometimes there is no advocate, no IMPD officer to protect an individual with intent to kill with a gun. There are things we can’t stop other than prison,” Smith said.
Smith knows from experience what it’s like to be in this situation.
“The system has really helped me get out of domestic violence,” Smith said. “From a protection order to finding that free lawyer to someone who can temporarily give me a cell phone.”
So how do you file a protective order against someone who puts your life at risk?
As a first step, you can submit in person At the county clerk’s office or online. Smith recommends contacting an advocate for assistance with filling out the form.
“Sometimes we know that doing these things yourself and passing the motion as a victim can miss out on something that could result in a protection order being denied,” Smith said.
Once filed, it may take up to 24 hours or as long as the court date to become effective. This is a free process and shouldn’t cost you anything, and if a lawyer is needed, local advocates can help.
Once activated, it turns to IMPD to track the person and deliver the order.
“One of the main problems that comes with these is trying to find the person who made the order against them. We do what we can to find that person, but in some cases that doesn’t happen,” Sgt. David Lindsay of IMPD’s Domestic Violence Unit said.
In Walton’s case, no matter how many times she sued Mitchell, he continued to violate those orders.
When asked, “Do you think this way creates a revolving door? So that someone who commits these acts against someone would think it’s a meaningless piece of paper?”, Lindsay said, his office will Keep doing the work they do.
“I think the best thing our office can do is continue to do the work we’re doing to help victims bring charges, and as far as the court is concerned, it’s up to the court and the judge to deal with each suspect,” Lindsay said.
“I know how this fear develops, but enforcing protection orders is very important. While we see those who lose their lives as a result of domestic violence, you don’t see all the things that help save lives and protect victims of domestic violence. protective order,” Smith said.
WRTV investigated how much weight a protection order can carry. We interviewed a woman who shot and killed her ex-husband – after he entered her home in violation of a protective and no-contact order.
Monica Conley said she did everything she could to protect her family and felt the justice system failed her. She wants the Marion County Attorney’s Office and the IMPD to crack down on those who violate these orders.
“That’s bs, they can do something. Every time they can do something. I think more should happen. Whenever a person violates a restraining order, these charges should be brought every time, there should be new charges They are stackable so if you are the victim and the abuser calls you at 10:50, that could be a new charge. If they call you at 10:51, that could be another charge Item charges. It should be taken seriously every time,” Conley said.
If you are experiencing domestic violence, there are some resources you can use.If you need help, please call the Indy Domestic Violence Champion Hotline at 317-210-0671 or visit Julian Center.