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Feminist News


March-28-96

Stalker Released By Police Kills Woman, Himself

On March 10 the ex-boyfriend of Karen Mitsoff, a respected teacher in Alexandria, VA broke into Mitsoffs condominium and threatened to kill her and himself. The stalker, Fisseha Senbet was later charged with burglarly and released on $2500 bond. On Monday (3-25), Mitsoff made good on his threat, breaking into Mitsoffs home and fatally shooting her before killing himself. The tragedy prompted the citys chief prosecutor to call for tougher strategies to combat domestic violence. Althought Senbets threats were noted in the court file, prosecutors made no attempts to ask for a longer jail stay because they said he had no known criminal record or history of mental illness. According to Virginias anti-stalking law, judges can set high bonds or order suspects held for counseling if there is evidence of a threat. Chief District Judge OFlaterty chose to release Senbet on a low bond amount without mandating any form of counseling.

Media Resources: The Washington Post - March 27, 1996