Some California lawmakers want to impose new restrictions on homeless people after a woman with autism was raped and murdered near a homeless encampment in January.
20-year-old Emma Roark vanished while she was taking a walk near the American River Parkway on Jan. 27 at about noon. The pathway is plagued by homeless people in tents in encampments.
Her remains were later discovered, and law enforcement officials arrested Mikilo Morgan Rawls, a 37-year-old homeless man, and charged him with murder, sodomy, and rape of the woman.
Court documents said that the victim's father received a phone call from a man who was using her phone and said that Rawls had sold it to her.
Prosecutors allege that the man tied her up, sexually assaulted her, then strangled her to death. They also said they found his DNA on the victim.
According to some reports, her partially nude body was found hanging from a tree near the homeless encampment.
“The circumstances of this murder are horrific, and our sympathies go out to Emma Roark’s family,” said Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert.
On Friday, Democrat state lawmakers announced a proposal that would make it easier for law enforcement to remove homeless people near parklands and other open spaces. The bill would allow officials to designate some areas as "special parklands" that homeless people would not be allowed to inhabit.
Rawls is scheduled to appear in court on May 20.
The suspect might face the death penalty for the charges, but because of restrictions on the use of the death penalty, prosecutors seek the punishment as a symbolic gesture, and it means only that the convict has no chance of parole.
Here's more about the heinous crime:
Death Penalty On The Table In Emma Roark Murder Case www.youtube.com