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Crist signs change to child custody law spurred by Lake Worth tragedy

by Dara Kam | June 18th, 2009

The horrific deaths of two Lake Worth children at the hands of their father contributed to a change in law that broadens the information available to judges when deciding visitation rights.

Gov. Charlie Crist signed into law this week a measure that expands from third degree felony to first degree misdemeanor domestic violence convictions judges take into consideration when determining parental responsibility.

Boca Raton Democratic Sen. Ted Deutch sponsored the bill (SB 904) at the behest of Jennie Carter, the mother of 10-year-old Nelson and 8-year-old Crystal Camacho who died after their father, Tony, set his suburban Lake Worth home ablaze days before Christmas in 2006.

All three died in the fire. Camacho died of smoke inhalation after stabbing Crystal in the back, severing her spine and leaving her paralyzed as flames engulfed their home.

Camacho’s ex-wife Jennie Carter had requested a restraining order and supervised visitation for the children.

That was never granted.

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3 Responses to “Crist signs change to child custody law spurred by Lake Worth tragedy”

  1. Cathie Rockwood Says:

    They had the same thing before. The judges ignore most of the DV history. This rule is wonderful until it gets before the judge.

  2. Adele Guadalupe Says:

    FACTs Court Watch, which is a NOW committee in Palm Beach has been on this issue for years. We protested the Shared Parenting bill precisely for this reason. Finally, Sen. Deutch has made sure that something was done about it. Imagine that for all these years, Family Court has never allowed evidence of Domestic Violence to be admitted when making custody decisions! Contact http://WWW.FACTscourtwatch.org

  3. Jeannie Trygg Says:

    Jennie – you are my hero. Through the pain and sorrow of losing your precious children, Nelson and Crystal, you have championed positive change.

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