State Rep. Lane Roberts, R-Joplin, has reintroduced a piece of legislation for the creation of a violent offender registry. Under the bill, those convicted of first- and second-degree murder would be placed on a list similar to the sex offender registry.
“The theory here grows out of a contact I had with a constituent actually before I was even elected,” according to Rep. Roberts. “I made a promise to this person at the time that I would file this every year until we either pass it or I termed out. Her sister was murdered in the Joplin area. She was murdered by somebody who came to Missouri via the interstate compact for parole and probation. He actually committed a murder in Tennessee. Like a lot of people who commit murders, the underlying conduct was clearly first degree, but he pled to second degree, which made him eligible for parole at some point. He did parole, came to Joplin and ultimately murdered this woman who hired him having no idea what his background was.”