'100% preventable.' Manhasset mother looks to reform NY family court system 6 years after daughter's death

Originally published in News 12 Long Island

A Manhasset mother marking the sixth anniversary of her daughter's death is fighting for change in the way New York courts handle child custody cases.

Jacqueline Franchetti says the family court system allowed her daughter Kyra to fall through the cracks.

"Our family court system is set up to protect the abuser and not the child and that must end," Franchetti says.

Kyra was fatally shot when she was just 2 years old by her father, who then killed himself by setting his house on fire.

It happened during a court-sanctioned visit with the father.

Franchetti says the judge in their custody battle ignored her repeated warnings.

"Kyra's murder was 100% preventable," Franchetti says.

Franchetti says her daughter is not the only victim. She says Kyra is one of 20 children in New York to be killed by a parent while going through a custody case, separation or divorce since 2016.

Franchetti is now calling for the pass of Kyra's Law - which would require the court to consider a child's safety when making a decision regarding child custody and visitation. It would also mandate judges to take part in training to handle cases of domestic violence and child abuse.

The murder of Kyra also inspired seven companion bills. One that mandates training for forensic child custody evaluators passed in June. The others are expected to be voted on in early 2023.

"This is bipartisan support - this is not something impacts Democrat families or Republican families - this impacts all of New Yorkers," says State Sen. Anna Kaplan.

Franchetti says she will not stop fighting until the bill named in honor of her daughter becomes law.

News 12 called the New York State Court of Appeals for comment about the proposed reforms to the family court system, but have not heard back as of 5 p.m.