By Molly Daly
COATESVILLE, Pa. (CBS) — A 64-year-old Coatesville woman is being treated at Paoli Memorial Hospital after she was bound and choked before her 52-year-old live-in boyfriend used a gun to kill himself as she watched (see related story).
Authorities in Chester County say it happened early Sunday, after she served him with an eviction notice.
The incident comes as Chester County rolls out a new tool to help law enforcement identify domestic situations that are likely to turn deadly.
The model, called the Lethality Assessment Program (“LAP”) was developed in Maryland.
Chester County district attorney Tom Hogan explains that officers are given 11 standardized questions to ask victims of domestic abuse. For example:
“Has the defendant ever used a weapon against you or threatened you with a weapon? Has the defendant ever tried to choke you? Has the defendant ever been separated from you involuntarily?”
Hogan says if the indicators are there, officers will act.
“They are going to alert the potential victim they are at risk, (and) they will refer them to specific counseling,” Hogan said today.
And it will be noted in the police reports.
But Hogan says no program is perfect.
“We are talking about predictive behavior, but this sort of program will give us the clues to help people and potentially to cut off a homicide down the road.”