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Man proposes Khyler's law to keep repeat offenders off the streets

Posted at 9:54 PM, Oct 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-14 23:31:47-04

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla.  — Could the deaths of Kristine Melton and Diane Ruiz have been prevented? According to a Port Charlotte man, the answer is "yes."

Shawn Kolanda was a friend of 15-year-old Khyler Edman who died last month during a home invasion.

Kolanda is proposing a new law to keep repeat offenders like the men linked to both cases off the streets.

The law is called Khyler's law, and basically, it says that if you've got a rap sheet that's a mile long, you shouldn't be free.

The key to this law is that it also focuses on misdemeanor crimes, not just felonies.

Just last week Kristine Melton and Diane Ruiz both killed by the same man at two separate scenes in Cape Coral.

Looking at the cases: Ryan Cole, accused in the crime that led to Khyler's death, and Wade Wilson, who is a person of interest in the deaths of Kristine Melton and Diane Ruiz, both have lengthy rap sheets.

Tonight a friend of Khyler says his newly proposed law will keep career criminals, like those two men, behind bars.

"It's to keep prolific repeat offenders from with 10 of more arrests of misdemeanors and above off the streets, so they don't finally kill, raping and brutally assaulting someone." Said Shawn Kolanda.

Local attorney Scot Goldberg says the idea is a good one but adds that by including misdemeanor cases, it could make the law tricky to pass as is.

"I think the state attorney's office and law enforcement are finding it difficult to keep these people incarcerated just because you can't take those same types of charges and hold them to the same level that we would a felony." Said Scot Goldberg, Attorney

Goldberg says an important tweak to the proposed law would be to look at ways of keeping career criminals confined after their sentences, if their behavior warrants it.

In the meantime, Kolanda wants those who support the proposed law to let lawmakers know about it.

Both men accused in these cases are in custody but have not been formally charged yet.