The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

January 28, 2013

Joplin group circulating petition for tougher domestic violence laws

By Emily Younker
eyounker@joplinglobe.com

JOPLIN, Mo. — Friends and former coworkers of Monica Webb, a Joplin woman who authorities say was killed by her estranged husband late last year, are circulating petitions to toughen domestic violence laws in Missouri.

“I’m really surprised; it’s been not even three months since Monica’s death, and we’ve come a long way,” said Jason Calvin, a founder of the group that is circulating the petitions. “We’re really pleased with our progress to this point.”

Monica Webb, 36, had reported that her estranged husband, Rondias Webb, 35, violated a protection order Nov. 4 when he approached her in a bar and informed her that he knew where she had moved to get away from him. That report was made less than two weeks before he allegedly shot and killed her inside her new home on Nov. 17.

Since launching the petition drive this month, organizers have mailed more than 60 packets to individuals interested in collecting signatures, Calvin said.

“We had an overwhelming response of people sending us their address” to receive a petition packet, he said. “We’re talking people all over the state of Missouri. We were kind of floored when we realized what kind of response we got.”

Calvin said petitions will be circulated throughout the spring and summer, with delivery to state legislators anticipated by fall 2013.