AUGUSTA – Family members of a murder victim want the state to impose an automatic life sentence for domestic abuse resulting in murder.

Amy Theriault died in 2014 after her ex-boyfriend stabbed and shot her. A jury found Jesse Marquis guilty and sentenced him to life in prison.

Maine has done away with parole, and certain criteria must be met to impose a life sentence.

Senate Democratic leader Troy Jackson is sponsoring the bill that would make the life sentence mandatory for a murder conviction in cases of domestic violence, which he calls “the most intimate betrayal.”

Half of Maine homicides stem from domestic violence, and Theriault’s mother, Barbara, said it’s an injustice for victims that the state doesn’t automatically impose life sentences.

The Legislature’s Criminal Law Advisory Commission said not every murder calls for a life sentence.

A legislative committee will continue working on the bill next Wednesday.

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