How effective are restraining orders?

How effective are restraining orders?
Mountain Brook Police say an outstanding protection order led to the capital murder charges against Jason McIntosh. We asked a legal expert about how effective restraining orders can be. (Source: WBRC)

Mountain Brook, Ala. (WBRC) - Mountain Brook Police say an outstanding protection order is what led to the capital murder charges against Jason McIntosh. We asked a legal expert about how effective restraining orders can be.

Both Megan Montgomery and McIntosh had a restraining order against each other that was filed in March. Attorney Roger Appell says restraining orders do work in cases where people have a one-time incident. He says it gives people an opportunity to calm down from the situation.

Appell tells us in cases where people have on-going relationships, those orders can be useless. He offers this advice to people in these situations.

"When someone comes to me and we get a restraining order or they have a restraining order, I say yes its important keep it with you..have it with you at all times but be extremely cautious. Don't take anything for granted and certainly don't get back in touch with the person that you have this restraining order with,” Appell said.

McIntosh’s attorney Tommy Spina says the restraining order was entered into by agreement of both parties in the divorce court, was reciprocal, and required both of them to stay away from each other.

“Regretfully they continued to see and live with each other off and on regularly, as is often the case in these type of cyclical relationships ,up until this tragic conclusion,” Spina said.

Spina feels McIntosh shouldn’t face a capital murder charge.

“The agreement entered in the divorce court was not entered pursuant to Alabama Code 30-5-1 , the Protection from Abuse Act. Consequently, we don’t feel that the appropriate charge should capital murder based on a literal reading of the capital murder statute. We feel the appropriate charge should have been murder and not capital murder, however that’s what the courts are for, to interpret the law enacted by the state legislature and apply the facts as they are determined to be by the fact-finder,” Spina said.

McIntosh is in the Jefferson County jail without bond.

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