Watch CBS News

'Walk For Love' Raises Money For Alina's Light

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- With storm clouds parting overhead, hundreds jogged and walked, forming a sea of purple.

It was all in support of a University of Pittsburgh student Alina Sheykhet. Her ex-boyfriend, Matthew Darby, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison last year.

"I'm touched to my core," said Alina's mother. "Friends, family, random people I see so many people and unknown faces."

Alina's parents, Yan and Elly, celebrated what would have been her 22nd birthday with a "Walk For Love."

"She would be so shy about and at the same time so proud and making silly faces and laughing," said Elly.

Friends, politicians, and her family's attorney Robert Delgreco came out to Settler's Cabin Park in Robinson Township.

"For her memory and we really appreciate the support we have today, we really appreciate people supporting us and our family," said Yan.

The walk raised money for her charity, Alina's Light, that is aggressively pushing for a new bill to add electronic monitoring to defendants facing protection from abuse orders.

"It would give judges the ability to electronically enforce PFAs," said Ember Holmes

Holmes said the family wants to change the law.

Alina Sheyhket petitioned for a PFA against her ex-boyfriend after he tried to break in one month before her murder. It wasn't granted until three days before her death.

"That's where these electronic enforcement devices could literally save people," said Holmes. "It's a matter of literally saving people from being killed by their partners in domestic abuse situations."

State Rep. Anita Kulik sponsors the bill.

"We think there's evidence here that this person is likely to violate the PFA and they would be subject to electronic monitoring at the discretion of the court, but at least it gives the court some more teeth to really make an impact on the defendant and help the victim," she said.

They're using Alina's Light to shine a light on a weakness in the court system.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.