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Florida lawmakers file ‘Greyson’s Law’ to help protect children at risk of parental harm

A fundraiser has been set up for the mother of Greyson Kessler who was killed in a murder-suicide. (Remembering Greyson GoFundme)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A mother’s hope that no one else will have to endure the pain she has suffered is one step closer to coming to fruition.

Alison Kessler’s 4-year-old son Greyson was killed by his father, John Stacey, in a murder-suicide.

It happened in May of this year, at Stacey’s Fort Lauderdale condo.

Kessler had been trying to get a restraining order for domestic violence against Stacey, who had been sending her abusive and threatening text messages for years.

Shortly before Greyson’s death, a judge denied the order due to lack of evidence.

Since then, Kessler has been fighting for legislation that would allow judges to remove a child from a home over concerns that one parent is threatening or abusing the other.

Florida State Sen. Lori Berman and State Rep. Michael Grieco both have shared in Kessler’s vision, and on Wednesday they filed “Greyson’s Law.”

“Protecting our children must always be at the top of our priority list as legislators,” Sen. Berman said in a statement. “Creating a coercive control definition will help establish the long-known psychological pattern of using mental, emotional, financial and/or other abuses in domestic situations to become quantified in punishable steps by the court, especially as it relates to child custody. Greyson’s life was cut way too short for reasons that were preventable and it is imperative we protect all the other Greysons in our state.”

Greico and Berman are hoping for bipartisan support in passing the bill into law.

“Anyone who places a tracker on a co-parent’s vehicle or tells them that their ‘head should be separated from their body’ or that they ‘deserve to die’ should not only be enjoined from contact with the recipient of the stalking or threats, but their custodial rights should be immediately evaluated,” said Rep. Greico. “There have unfortunately been hundreds of preventive cases in the United States in which a disturbed parent murdered their child in a twisted effort to punish the other parent or themselves, but Senator Berman and I have now chosen to prioritize this issue here in our state. Florida law failed Greyson, and Ali, and the passage of HB 781 will hopefully prevent another tragedy.”

Kessler, a digital marketing consultant, says she is not ready to go to work while she grieves the loss of her son, instead dedicating much of her time to the forming of Greyson’s Law and the efforts to have it written into the books by the spring of 2022.

Loved ones created a GoFundMe page to assist Kessler with her living expenses during her time of need.


About the Author:

David Dwork joined the WPLG Local 10 News team in August 2019. Born and raised in Miami-Dade County, David has covered South Florida sports since 2007.