Alabama AG condemns ‘good time’ laws for role in deputy’s death
By WVUA 23 Digital Reporter Kyle Hamrick
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall connected Alabama’s correctional incentive time laws to the Wednesday shooting of Bibb County Deputy Sheriff Brad Johnson in a statement issued today.
“Alabama’s justice system failed the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office and Deputy Brad Johnson,” Marshall said, and he’s resolving to correct the state’s “good time” laws in partnership with state lawmakers.
Austin Patrick Hall was charged Friday with the murder of Johnson and the attempted murder of another officer, Deputy Chris Poole, who was injured in the incident.
Marshall said the 26-year-old’s criminal history is long, beginning in 2016 with charges of theft and burglary.
In 2018, he was sentenced to nine years and nine months in prison, then was recaptured after escaping to Georgia from work detail in 2019.
“Despite this, after serving less than four years of his sentence, the shooter was awarded correctional incentive time (good time), which was (and inexplicably remains) permissible under the state’s ultra-lenient incentive time law,” Marshall said.
Hall ended his sentence on April 8, 2022, and was released.
After that, Hall bonded out of jails in Calhoun and Chilton counties on more than 20 charges, including assaulting a police officer and illegally possessing a firearm.
“Had the shooter served his entire sentence, he would not have been able to commit his brazen crime spree across our state, which ended in capital murder,” Marshall said.
The penalty for assaulting a police officer should be upgraded from a Class C felony to a Class B felony, Marshall said, which would increase the prison sentence in those cases from 10 years to 20 years.