House Bill 1552 - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

House Bill 1552

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Tacoma Police Officer Walter Copeland went to jail in 2005 for the manslaughter of CBC Instructor Al Anthis.

The Anthis family was awarded money from Copeland's accounts as restitution.

But now they can't get it. It's a complicated story that's even showing up in recent legislation.

Anthis' widow has been trying to collect restitution from Copland's pension.

They've gone through the courts and they won, but now a surprising legislative amendment awaiting the governor's signature may prevent the Anthis family from ever seeing a dime of it.

The section in question is section 21 in House Bill 1552.

It protects money earned in a pension from being collected in restitution after it's placed in a personal bank account.

Anthis' widow won a civil lawsuit against Walter Copland to garnish money placed in his account.

The family says the bill protects criminals.

"They need to make some provisions in there, amendments that change that wording so that convicted killers, drug ring runners, aren't protected as well," says Son-in-Law Kevin Santille

Online there's support for the measure arguing all police and firefighters would be vulnerable to lose money they've earned.

Anthis' son in law says the push to veto 1552 isn't about money but principle.

"When it really comes down to it, it's about holding somebody accountable for something that happened coming up on 7 years ago that they still are trying to fight."

The Anthis family has been in contact with the governor's office urging her to veto the bill.

We called her office Thursday, they say the bill is under review and the governor hasn't made a decision yet.

We've been following this story since it began in 2005 and will let you know what the governor decides.