Do orders of protection protect you from anything? - KATV - Breaking News, Weather and Razorback Sports

Do orders of protection protect you from anything?

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LITTLE ROCK (KATV) - The alleged shooter in an Easter morning shooting sits in a Pulaski County Jail cell with no bond, stuck there on a litany of charges.  Suspect Jason Lee Vance, 35, had an order of protection filed against him by one of the victims – an order petitioned to be extended just two days before the shooting.

Vance was booked on Monday at the Pulaski County Detention Center after being transferred from a local hospital.  The suspect was shot by the victim he was allegedly stalking. 

In addition to two attempted capital murder charges for shooting his ex-girlfriend Jessica Upchurch and her current boyfriend Gary Carter, Vance faces three counts of aggravated assault, two counts of residential burglary, felony possession of a firearm, theft by receiving and a misdemeanor count for violating his order of protection.

“You know it’s not something judges just issue without a lot of merit,” said Lt. Carl Minden, Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office.  “You have to have done something to earn an order of protection.”

According to the petition for the order of protection that Upchurch filed in Pulaski County in 2013, it appears Vance certainly did do something.  Upchurch writes:

“He has choked me, thrown me around, headbutted me and caused a bloody nose.  He’s also thrown things at me.”

But if there was an order of protection against Vance, shouldn’t Upchurch have felt safe?

“Most people, the threat of arrest is enough to deter them,” said Minden.  “But you know some people just have a different type of mindset and it’s not going to be foolproof.”

An order of protection in the state of Arkansas is the highest level of protection one can provide themselves.  Officers can make an arrest if someone violates an order of protection, but that’s not the case with a restraining order.

“If you were to violate a restraining order, you could call law enforcement, we could write a report,” commented Minden.

However Minden commented that filing a police report against a restraining order offender is practically all that law enforcement can do.  It basically provides a paper trail for victims and their lawyers to use in future cases.  Often times things must escalate to violence before an order of protection is served.

Violating an order of protection is only a misdemeanor, but Minden says it can give law enforcement the ability to upgrade charges like they did in Sunday’s shooting.
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