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Fort Bragg killings prompt call for 'Laura's Law'

The father of slain Fort Bragg murder suspect Aaron Bassler on Tuesday pleaded with Mendocino County Supervisors to take advantage of a law that might have prevented the deaths of his son and his son's alleged victims.

"It's a public safety" issue, said James Bassler.

His son was killed following a month-long manhunt stemming from the killings of Fort Bragg Mayor Jere Melo and land manager Matthew Coleman.

Laura's Law might have averted the tragedies, he said.

The law allows counties, under certain circumstances, to require out-patient treatment for mentally ill people who refuse help.

Aaron Bassler has suffered from mental illness, including delusions, for about 17 years but refused treatment, James Bassler said.

Fort Bragg officials also are urging the county to seriously consider opting in to Laura's Law. County staff and officials and mental health advocates are investigating the law and are expected to make a presentation to the board in December.


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