Proposed ‘Bentley Law’ Would Require Drunk Drivers to Pay Child Support If a Parent is Killed


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By Russell Kinsaul

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JEFFERSON COUNTY, Missouri (KMOV) – Cecilia Williams turns her anger into action. She is pushing Missouri lawmakers to support a new bill she dubbed “Bentley’s Law” in honor of her 5-year-old grandson.

“The main aspect of Bentley’s law is the financial liability of the offender,” she said.

Williams has started work on new legislation that targets drunk drivers after an April crash on Highway 30 at Byrnes Mill that claimed the lives of three loved ones. His son, Cordell Williams, his fiancee Lacey Newton and their 4 month old son Cordell Williams II were killed when the car they were in crashed and rolled off the road and crashed.

David Thurby, of Fenton, is charged with three counts of DWI death of another. His blood alcohol level was double the legal limit, and according to court documents he told a soldier he had “seven strokes with the crown and water.”

Williams is now raising the couple’s other two children, Mason, 3, and Bentley, 5, whose law is named after. She wants to see a new law that would require drunk drivers who cause the death of one or more parents to pay child support to a surviving spouse or parents who are raising the victim’s children, until that the children are 18 years old.

“They deserve to get this compensation because you talk about raising kids that their parents are no longer here,” Williams said.

Missouri State Representative Mike Henderson of Bonne Terre plans to introduce “Bentley Law” in the next legislative session.

“I firmly believe that these people who drive drunk and take the parents of these children, there has to be help for these children. It comes down to that, ”he said.

Williams believes monthly child support payments would make an offender think twice before driving drunk again. She said a state legislator in Tennessee agreed to introduce a “Bentley law” in that state when the legislative session begins next year. Williams hopes to lead his fight against drinking and driving nationwide.

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