RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Stephen Puryear still misses his daughter every day.
“Everybody loved Britny. Except for her boyfriend,” Puryear said.
At just 22 years old, his daughter Britny Puryear was found shot dead in her home.
Her boyfriend, Logan McLean, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and is serving a 32-year prison sentence.
“Britny died November 6, 2014 but her murder started long before that,” Puryear said.
He says Britny was a victim of domestic violence for years and wanted McLean to face a first-degree murder charge.
That requires them to prove it was premeditated, something that’s very hard to do in court.
Puryear pushed “Britny’s Law” that would allow a pattern of abuse to count as premeditation.
Lawmakers overwhelmingly passed it.
“For the first time since Britny died we had a really good feeling. So it was great to see republicans and democrats come together,” Puryear said.
A victory, with a catch.
The current bill that’s now headed to the governor’s desk, is not the same bill Puryear pushed for.
“Would this law have helped Britny?” a reporter asked Puryear. “No. Not as it is now,” her father explained. “The original intent was to have a ‘past pattern’ of abuse to help establish premeditation, which was amended to ‘convicted of’ which is rare, but it’s a great first start.”
Lawmakers amended the bill saying only convictions of domestic violence could count as premeditation, not just patterns of abuse.
“It was very disheartening when they changed it. Domestic violence most the time happens behind closed doors, very seldom do guys get arrested for it and very seldom does it make it all the way to court to a conviction,” Puryear said. “But it’s still going to help a few people now and we look forward to future sessions to help strengthen it and try to get our “past pattern” language put back in.”
Puryear says while the bill isn’t what he intended, it’s a great step in the right direction to help fight domestic violence in North Carolina.
“We’re not done yet, there’s more to be done. More victims to help,” Puryear said.