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Broken Arrow mother petitioning for protective order change after son killed

paul stephen bernius.jpg
Posted at 6:05 PM, Nov 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-30 19:35:41-05

BROKEN ARROW, Okla. — A Broken Arrow mother grieving her son’s death is hoping to change how protective orders are granted in Oklahoma.

Maureen Bucchere’s son, Paul Stephen Bernius IV, was killed just days after filing a protective order against one of his tenants who is now his suspected killer.

“The fact is my son should be here right now," Bucchere said.

READ MORE: Broken Arrow police identify victim, suspect from Sunday night homicide

Bernius was shot and killed at his Broken Arrow home in September, the day after his birthday.

His suspected killer, Cody O’Bryan, was his tenant renting a room from his home. Bernius filed a protective order against O’Bryan and detailed multiple incidents where he felt threatened.

“It got so bad that he wouldn’t even let me come to his house," Bucchere said. "He was afraid of what this guy might do.”

However, a judge denied that protective order. Bucchere said she spoke to her son after and he felt rejected.

Two days later, Bernius was killed. O'Bryan is charged with first-degree murder.

“With the evidence that he had, it was ignored," Bucchere said. "It was just ignored. And the judge denied it. And this never should have happened. Never should have happened.”

Now, Bucchere is turning her pain into a fight with a petition to change the state’s protective order statute. It currently applies to cases of domestic violence between family members or romantic partners. Bucchere wants to expand that to cover more people including those like her son who wanted protection from a tenant.

“We’re all human beings," Bucchere said. "And we’re all entitled to protection.”

While the grief is still fresh for Bucchere - she hopes to keep others safe and honor her son.

“It’s not ever going to bring my son back, but it may help others where they won’t have to lose theirs," Bucchere said.

Bucchere said she’s spoken with a local state representative about how to make some changes. You can view the petition here.

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