Maryville family calls for "Amelia's Law"

Maryville family calls for "Amelia's Law"

Amelia Keown (source: Keown Family) Amelia Keown (source: Keown Family)

6 News Investigator

NASHVILLE (WATE) - The mother and grandfather of Amelia Keown were at the state capitol Wednesday continuing their crusade for "Amelia's Law," a proposal that would keep felons in prison longer.

On August 14, Amelia was hit head-on outside Maryville on U.S. Highway 411. The driver of the vehicle that struck Amelia, John Perkins, also died. Perkins had been out on parole after serving about a quarter of his time from his 2005 conviction for armed robbery.

"We're getting no answers," said Wayne Keown, Amelia's grandfather. "We don't why. This was a dangerous man."

Wayne Keown explained that after the early release from prison, Perkins had been arrested again numerous times.

Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey met Wednesday with Wayne Keown and his daughter, Amanda Moore, for about half an hour to explained their reason behind "Amelia's Law."

Amelia's mother showed Ramsey more than 10,000 signatures of people who support a law that would prevent felons from leaving prison early.

Ramsey cautioned the family, however, explaining how proposals make their way through the legislative process. It may take a year or two before such a law could get through the State House and Senate.

Looking at the signatures, though, Ramsey said there obviously is grassroots support to tighten parole rules.

"Because of this, these people, they're going to make a difference," said Wayne Keown.

"When you listen to this family's story about how many convictions this fellow has, it's unbelievable that he was still on the streets," said Ramsey. "It takes action like this from citizens to get results."

Amanda Moore and Wayne Keown expect to return to Nashville again in their effort to convince legislators about the merits of "Amelia's Law."

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