Stalking case leads to questions about tougher domestic violence laws

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — It’s a stalking case that has everyone talking.

Police arrested Joshua Barnes Friday after his GPS tracker showed he was following the victim and her friend.

Violating an order of protection is just a misdemeanor and Barnes bonded out over the weekend.

Monday, WREG spoke with Jordan Hoard with the Family Safety Center.

Howard told us more needs to be done to protect domestic violence victims.

“I really do think we need to make it where if you violate an order of protection so many times, maybe that goes to an automatic felony instead of a misdemeanor.”

We asked District Attorney General Amy Weirich about this idea.

“Obviously that’s in the purview of the legislature. What has happened recently in the area of Domestic Violence is through the Governor’s Task Force and the Public Safety act which will go into effect January 1 making a third or more domestic violence convictions now a felony.”

But for now, many in law enforcement hope more support leans towards helping domestic violence and stalking victims.

“More can be done. Of course, it takes money. It takes the will of the legislature to make something a felony that’s now a misdemeanor and to do that there’s a usually a fiscal note, but something that would help give comfort to victims.”