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Maryland bills inspired by slain Baltimore tech CEO Pava LaPere signed in front of family, friends

Maryland bills carry out slain Baltimore tech CEO Pava LaPere's legacy
Maryland bills carry out slain Baltimore tech CEO Pava LaPere's legacy 02:30

BALTIMORE - Two bills in honor of slain Baltimore tech CEO Pava LaPere were signed into law Thursday in Annapolis. One of those laws protects innocent victims from repeat violent offenders, and the other empowers young entrepreneurs in Baltimore.

Change inspired by Pava LaPere

LaPere, a rising tech CEO in Baltimore where she founded EcoMap Technologies, was brutally murdered at her Mount Vernon apartment building in September 2023.

Jason Billingsley is in prison, charged with LaPere's killing, as well as a sexual assault and arson at a nearby complex. 

Billingsley is a convicted felon and registered sex offender who was released in 2022 on parole. He pleaded guilty to sexual assault in 2015 and was sentenced to 30 years, with all but 14 suspended. He only served seven, though, being released in October 2022 because he earned enough diminution credits.

LaPere's murder called for change. 

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore signed the bills with LaPere's family by his side.

"They will benefit future student entrepreneurs in the Baltimore area and they will protect other innocent victims," said Frank LaPere, Pava's father.

What's the Pava LaPere Act about?

The Pava Marie LaPere Act prevents those convicted of first-degree rape and most violent sex crimes from earning early release diminution credits for good behavior.

"We're just happy that other families can be protected," Frank LaPere said. "We can't bring her back, but we know that through this legislation, other families will not go through the grief we've had to go through."

Helping young entrepreneurs

Before Pava LaPere was killed, she was well on her way to changing the world. 

She founded EcoMap Technologies while she was still a student at Johns Hopkins University, with a mission to help others launch their own startups. 

Her mission continues through the Pava LaPere Legacy of Innovation Act, which is a grant program to boost tech startups founded by college students in the area.

"She was super passionate about supporting student entrepreneurs and making sure they had resources to stay in Baltimore, stay in Maryland and grow their companies there," said Kevin Carter, Pava LaPere's best friend. "That's what she did."

Carter, the Director of Business Development for EcoMap Technologies, said the company is thriving and they're determined to continue her mission.

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