Cooper signs bills against domestic violence into law

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Previously convicted domestic violence offenders accused of killing their victims could face the most serious crime and punishment if found guilty, under a new North Carolina law.

Gov. Roy Cooper signed Tuesday “Britny’s Law,” which creates the presumption that a homicide constitutes first-degree murder if the slaying was committed with malice and the defendant has been convicted before of domestic violence, stalking or similar crimes against the victim.

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The legislation is named for a Fuquay-Varina woman who was shot to death in 2014 by her child’s father.

Cooper also signed two additional bills to allow domestic violence protective orders granted by a judge to fully go into effect even when they’re under appeal and to expand the state’s “revenge porn” law from cases involving former lovers to those involving strangers.