SYRACUSE, NY (WSYR-TV) - One year after 6-year-old Lauren Belius was stabbed to death in the Town of Sherill, her mother Allison Belius is still working get stricter punishments for people who kill children.
David Trebilcock, the man who killed Lauren, was found "not criminally responsible” for the murder due to “mental disease or defect." He was sentenced to a minimum of one year in a secure mental health facility.
“I know everybody says that him going away to jail or if he died it's not going to bring Lauren back and we know that. But I want to be able to promise my other two children that they're not going to have to see him again,” said Allison Belius. “It's terrifying to think that somebody as dangerous as him could be out of there in a year or two if they decide he's mentally fit again.”
Allison has drafted petitions calling for harsher punishments for child killers and has gathered tens of thousands of signatures so far.
New York State Senator Joe Griffo sponsored a bill that would require someone like David Trebilcock to spend as much time in a mental institution as he would in jail if found guilty.
“From my perspective you shouldn't be just found ‘not guilty’ by reason of insanity, so we're looking to something similar to ‘guilty but insane’ which would say if you're going to commit the crime, you're going to do the time,” said State Senator Griffo.
Griffo said the bill was not brought up during the last legislative session but he will continue to push for it.
Allison said not knowing Trebilcock’s status is hard to live with.
“Now, him being where he is in a mental hospital, he's considered a patient now instead of a prisoner. We are not notified if he escapes or if anything changes with his status. We don't get any notification anymore because of HIPPA laws cause he's protected. He's more protected than we are and that's not right,” said Belius.
A second bill regarding the aggravated murder of a child would require a sentence of life without parole. That bill passed the State Senate but was not acted upon by the Assembly.