EUGENE, Ore. — After months of pushing for legislation, the wife of slain Eugene Police Officer Chris Kilcullen is finally seeing her hard work pay off.
Senate Bill 421 passed through the Senate Tuesday. It now awaits to be signed into law by Gov. John Kitzhaber.
Kristie Kilcullen says this is a victory for her family and gives them a better chance to heal and not continually be reminded of that terrible day.
Every six months Kristie Kilcullen gets a call from the district attorney’s office. And every six months she says it’s like re-living that terrible day back in April of 2011 when her husband was shot and killed.
“I get a phone call from the DA or a voice mail, and my heart drops and I feel like I’m getting kicked in the gut and that will be my reality forever,” Kristie said.
That call every six months is part of the legal process. Cheryl Kidd, the woman who shot Chris Kilcullen, had history of mental illness and hasn’t been fit to stand trial.
State law requires the DA to call Kristie every six months with an update on Kidd’s mental state. Kristie says Senate Bill 421 expands the six-month period to two years.
“So that allows a little reprieve for us where we get to kind of breathe for two years. The scab gets to heal a little bit longer than every six months. Because every six months the scab gets yanked,” Kristie said.
Kristie says she couldn’t be more thrilled that it passed through the House.
“It’s been a lot of tears. It’s been a lot of exhausted days up and down to Salem. You know every time I have to tell the story, it kind of puts me into a funk for a couple days, but here we are. It passed,” Kristie said.
She says Chris wouldn’t want his family to hurt anymore.
“That’s what I tell the girls when we’re having bad days, he would hate to know that we’re in pain. So Chris would be very happy. He would be very proud. He was our biggest cheerleader,” Kristie said.
The bill doesn’t eliminate the option for Kidd to ask for a mental review. At any time during the two years, Kidd can ask for a mental evaluation to see if she’s fit to stand trial.