3 years after teen daughter's murder, father asks lawmakers for action

Updated: Dec. 30, 2016 at 11:52 PM EST
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LANCASTER, SC (WIS) - Three years ago, a South Carolina teen from Lancaster was murdered by her ex-boyfriend. Her father, Robert Landry, says the same nightmare still haunts him to this day.

"You find yourself waking up like in a cold sweat and then going, 'Man, it didn't happen. It couldn't happen.' That's the worst nightmare ever," he said. "How could that have happened? Then, you realize it did and your baby's gone."

On December 30, 2013, his daughter, Sierra Landry, was fatally shot in Lancaster by her "on-again, off-again" boyfriend Tanner Crolley, who's now serving a 30-year prison sentence for murder.

"Every day we would say to each other, 'It's me and you against the world.' How lonely the world has been without her, because it seems like just me against the world now," Landry, who now lives in Summerville, said.

Three years after her death, Sierra's dad is fighting to save the life of other teens in rocky relationships. He wants lawmakers to pass a bill that would give teens easier access to what are called orders of protection. Right now, minors under the age of 18 need a parent's or guardian's permission to get one.

Lawmakers did not pass the bill in 2016, but they plan to look at the issue again in 2017.

"You know, when you're one person, you can only be heard so far. When you have many people, the shouts can be heard for miles," Landry said.

Some of those shouts are coming and will continue to come from Ridge View High School in Richland County, where the Scholars Symposium has made it its mission to help push the legislative fix.

"It just warms my heart to know that they were affected by my daughter's death," Landry said.

Landry's hoping others will join the students in that pursuit.

"There are Tanners everywhere," he said. "Like I said, we read about them in the newspapers and on the news. The Tanners out there have to be stopped."

The bill has already been pre-filed, and it's being pushed by Republican Senator Katrina Shealy from Lexington County and Democratic Senator Mia McLeod from Richland County.

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