(Jackson, MS) A new law in Mississippi aims to not only protect the lives of innocent children living with mentally ill parents, but also honors an 11-year-old boy killed by his father in an Alcorn County tragedy.
WREG’s Adam Hammond exposed neglect and prompted lawmakers to take action after he uncovered the people who were supposed to help protect Andrew Loyd, but dropped the ball and possibly cost him his life.
With the stroke of a pen, Andrew's bill is now officially Andrew's Law in the state of Mississippi.
It allows a little boy who wanted to be a superhero, the chance to save lives even though his is over.
Andrew's father Billy shot his son, then took his own life in October 2012.
Just before the shooting, Billy wrote on his Facebook page saying he only had 50 cents and needed to pay bills.
He concluded the post by saying he would take his life, and he apologized to his loved ones.
Earlier that summer, Andrew was left in his father's care, even though Billy put Andrew's life in danger during a shoot-out with police, and was institutionalized for several days.
WREG uncovered the Farmington Police Department broke the law by never telling the Department of Human Services about the shoot-out that put Andrew’s life in danger.
Andrew's Law will require what wasn't done for him: when someone is committed, they will now go through a pre-evaluation, and under the law's plan, the patient must answer more in-depth questions about family members.
If the person is then determined a danger to their children, the Department of Human Services must be notified by law.
News Channel 3 worked with Representative Nick Bain to create the bill, which strengthens laws forcing hospitals and law enforcement to turn over any suspicion of child neglect to DHS.
Bain told News Channel 3 he’s proud of the law and hopes it will honor Andrew and help build a legacy for him.
The new law won’t cost tax payers any extra money because the staff is already in place.
The governor plans to hold a ceremonial signing soon with Andrew’s family to honor him, but the date hasn’t been set.