A Maryville mom is working to change state law after a man with an extensive criminal record hit and killed her 16-year-old daughter.
Amelia Keown died in an August 14th wreck on Highway 411 while on her way home to pick up her pom poms for after school dance practice.
At first Amanda Moore thought the accident that killed her daughter was simply a tragic accident.
"I wanted to be able to pray for the guy that did it," she said. But after looking up his criminal record, she says she couldn't.
Records show 44-year-old John C. Perkins had a record dating back to at least 1998. His sheet included misdemeanor speeding charges, but also charges for aggravated robbery, drugs, and fleeing and evading police.
"It's like a double blow, the state of Tennessee failed me just as much as he did that day he was driving," said Moore.
She says he was released on parole three years before his scheduled release.
"I wanted to know how and why he could be out when he had done all these things," she said.
She's started an online petition hoping to change state law.
The petition currently has more than 3,000 signatures.
She wants to expand state law to include a greater range of felonies in the "three strikes" law which requires life sentences for repeat felony offenders.
She says it's a move that would have kept Perkins locked up and her daughter alive.
Moore says her daughter would be proud.
"I think she would do the same thing if it were me," said Moore.
Her family says Amelia wanted to grow up to help other people by training to become a nurse.
But now she hopes Amelia can still help people by inspiring change.