Domestic violence advocates push for laws protecting victims following death of missing Cleveland woman

Suspect Anthony Kennedy had a violent criminal past but didn’t serve prison time for strangulation and domestic violence
Published: Dec. 4, 2022 at 10:37 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) -It is a reality that’s become all too familiar.

“You know whenever we hear these stories everyone who works in domestic violence is like, I hope this isn’t related to domestic violence but almost always is,” said Rachel Ramirez, director of Health and Disability Programs for the Ohio Domestic Violence Network.

For suspected killer Anthony Kennedy, it is.

19 Investigates dug deep into his background discovering disturbing details about his criminal past.

The 43-year-old man surrendered to police after a nationwide search, wanted for allegedly killing his live-in-girlfriend, Adrianna Taylor.

Cleveland investigators say Kennedy shot the 23-year-old woman in the head and then buried her body under cement at a home in Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania.

The couple lived together on W. 98th Street in Cleveland until her family reported Taylor missing in November to police.

Records show the home where the couple lived is the same home where Kennedy committed a violent act against another girlfriend in 2019.

According to detectives, Kennedy used his body weight and strangled that woman with both of his hands on her neck and then pulled strands of her hair out.

She survived and Kennedy pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor but didn’t serve any time in jail.

Here in Ohio, strangulation is only a felony, if you die.

“Ohio is officially the last state in the United States to not have felony legislation around strangulation. Other states have passed laws and it’s an effort that’s been going on for many, many years and even decades,” said Ramirez.

Two bills are currently pending in Ohio that would make strangulation a felony if passed and signed into law.

Ramirez says it’s time to act now. Call Ohio legislators if you want to move them forward.

“We’re very, very hopeful that at the end of the last congressional term, this was going be the year but we really think this might be the year,” said Ramirez.