Fetgatter-authored bill to be heard during session
Following the tragic events in Henryetta last May, community members, supported by Republican Rep. Scott Fetgatter of Okmulgee, united to prevent similar tragedies from occurring.
This included filing a petition and now proposing legislation to change laws regarding sex-related crimes, especially those involving children.
The regular session of Oklahoma’s 59th Legislature will convene Monday, as state lawmakers begin looking over thousands of proposed bills, including one authored by Rep. Fetgatter.
House Bill 3992, known as “Knights Law” or House Bill 3992, seeks to impose life sentences without parole for sex crimes such as sexually abusing a child, propositioning a child, possessing child pornography, child prostitution, and human trafficking. It also would eliminate credits toward early release by a convicted felon for first degree rape, child sexual abuse, child pornography, child prostitution or human trafficking of a minor.
“Knights Law” is named after the Henryetta Public Schools mascot. The bill gets its name from the petition started following the tragic deaths in May 2023 of Ivy Webster, Brittany Brewer, Rylee Allen, Tiffany Guess and Michael Mayo at a home east of Henryetta.
The victims were killed by Jesse Lee McFadden, who then took his own life, along with his wife Holly.
McFadden, who was a convicted sex offender, was released from prison after serving only a portion of his 20-year sentence.
He was facing a case of solicitation of a minor and child pornography at the time of his death.
Fetgatter began work on the bill toward the end of the last Legislative session.
The petition, Knights Law 2.0, was circulated throughout the state looking to bring about changes.
Ivy’s father Justin Webster, and cousin Tiffany Troy, have been outspoken supporters of the measure.
“It’s very personal to me, and I will devote the rest of my life to making sure, hopefully, not too long, that this Knight’s Law becomes the national law. Because we need it. We need to start protecting our kids,” Webster stated in an interview with state media.
“At the end of the day, the most important thing is that we do everything we can to protect innocent people from being victimized,” Fetgatter said.
The families affected by these tragedies hope that “Knight’s Law” will not only serve as a form of justice, but helps prevent against future instances of sexual violence, ultimately making their community safer.