AUGUSTA, Maine — The mother of a mentally ill man who murdered his father and former high school girlfriend says family members should have more power to intervene in cases of mental illnesses.

Karen Okie spoke out Wednesday in support of a bill that would allow law enforcement or family to petition courts for an order requiring someone with severe and persistent mental illness to get outpatient treatment.

The Kennebec Journal said Okie told the Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee that if such a law existed now, it would have made her son stay on his medications and “two people would not be dead.”

Her son, John A. Okie, is serving a 60-year prison sentence after a jury found him guilty of murdering his father, John S. Okie, and 19-year-old Alexandra “Aleigh” Mills in July 2007.