Missouri Grandmother goes to Jefferson City to advocate for Bentley’s Law

Williams is advocating for Bentley's Law to honor her son.
Williams is advocating for Bentley's Law to honor her son.(ky3)
Published: Mar. 7, 2022 at 4:33 PM CST
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Jefferson City, Mo. (KY3) - Bentley’s Law proposed by Missouri lawmakers would require someone who is convicted of drunk driving to pay child support if they kill a parent or guardian.

Cecilia Williams knows that feeling all too well. Her son, his fiance, and their baby were killed by a drunk driver. She came up with the idea for Bentley’s Law.

”My son, Cordell Williams, and my soon-to-be daughter-in-law Lacey Newton and their four-month-old, and my grandson were killed in a fiery crash by a drunk driver on April 13, 2021. They were hit by a drunk driver,” said Williams.

She remembers having the police show up at her door to tell her the unthinkable.

”I remember looking at my clock and I said it’s 12:36 a.m., who’s knocking at my door like that. The first thing you’re seeing was a state trooper and an officer. And when I think about their words, I remember looking past them trying to look for them. They said they died in a fiery crash, unrecognizable,” said Williams.

She has to raise her other two grandchildren, Bentley and Mason. Williams says she needs to explain to her grandchildren why their parents aren’t coming home.

”Try explaining that to a child. It’s not easy. Parents, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, they should never have to explain it to children. Because someone decided to go and play God and take someone’s life. It’s not fair,” said Williams.

What the new bill, Bentley’s Law, would do is if someone is convicted of crashing while driving drunk - and a parent or guardian is killed, then the drunk driver has to pay child support to the victim’s children - until the child is 18 or completes their degree.

Williams says she wants to make a change for families just like hers.

”I did not create Bentley’s law for my family. When I created this law, I created Bentley’s want to help other people to help other kids,” said Williams.

She has worked with Representative Mike Henderson who is sponsoring the bill.

”I was kind of astounded that the state didn’t have anything in place like this,” said State Rep. Henderson.

”I know if they had a choice in life they would choose to be with their mom and dad and their baby brother but they weren’t given that choice. That choice was made for them. There’s no fairness in that,” said Williams.

Nobody showed up to testify against the bill.

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