Top judge defends lack of protective order in Petaluma case

Sonoma County's top judge said Wednesday that a fellow judge acted appropriately when she rejected an emergency restraining order for a Petaluma woman, who was shot to death one week later by her estranged husband.

Judge Virginia Marcoida followed the law when she reviewed the information provided by a Petaluma police officer and then denied the request, Presiding Judge Rene Chouteau said.

"Whatever was related by the officer to the judge didn't meet the criteria of immediate and present danger of domestic violence," Chouteau said.

Marcoida did not comment Wednesday and referred calls to court administrators.

Petaluma resident Kim Conover, 43, sought the temporary protective order April 9 at the Petaluma Police Department. She reported that her husband, Kevin Conover, 41, had grabbed her that morning during an argument at their Searles Way home.

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