Wolf signs bill providing guidelines on domestic abuse bail

The Associated Press

HARRISBURG – A new Pennsylvania law is in place to help guide judges setting bail for defendants accused of domestic abuse.

In this file photo, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf speaks before he signs legislation reauthorizing Pennsylvania's Children's Health Insurance Program at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia in Philadelphia, Friday, Dec. 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf on Monday signed “Tierne’s Law,” letting county courts set guidelines for assessing whether a defendant in such cases poses a threat.

The state sentencing commission will develop model pretrial risk assessment standards.

The law also adds strangulation involving a family member or household member to the offenses for which an officer can arrest someone without a warrant.

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The law is named for Tierne Ewing, who was killed in Washington County in 2016 by her estranged husband after his release on charges he kidnapped and tortured her. He also shot himself to death.

Her family members sobbed as Wolf signed the legislation in the governor’s Capitol reception room.