Bibb County Sheriff, deputy on a mission in Montgomery: Change state’s ‘good time law’

Last week, Bibb County Sheriff Jody Wade and Deputy Chris Poole visited Alabama’s state capital with Alabama Sen. April Weaver. Their goal? Getting Alabama’s “good time law” changed to ensure what happened to Poole and Bibb County Sheriff’s Deputy Brad Johnson doesn’t happen again.

Johnson was shot and killed and Poole was shot and injured in June.

“It is very hard at times, “Poole said. “I am continuing to face the world and I see the good in everything that I possibly can. I keep my faith. I know that God is going to keep my strong through it all.”

The man accused of the crime, Austin Patrick Hall, had been out of jail for a mere three days after serving four years of a nine-year sentence for theft.

“The suspect that killed Brad had been out roughly three years when he was sentenced to 10 (years) and had been out roughly three days when he shot Chris and killed Brad,” Wade said.

Currently, many Alabama inmates sentenced to 15 or fewer years in prison can earn good time behavior incentives and shorten their time in prison.

The legislative session begins March 7.

Weaver is sponsoring Senate Bill 1, which she is calling the Brad Johnson Act.

If passed, the bill would cut down how much “good time” inmates can accrue and would also ensure violent actions including escape attempts would cause an inmate to lose all their good time credit.

“Simply put, it is going to save the lives of many,” Poole said.

Weaver, Wade and Poole hope the passing of this bill will save lives in the future.

“I am very excited about that,” Wade said. “I am so proud that the sacrifice Brad made is going to continue to save lives. Save lives of people who don’t even realize that their life was saved through the sacrifice of this bill that is named in his honor.”

Johnson’s badge number was 706. That number is now worn by his friend who was more like a brother, Chris Poole.

“I am very grateful for Sheriff Wade for allowing me to me to take his number,” Poole said. “It is an honor. I have a lot to look up to fulfill that number. And that is exactly what I want to continue to do with that number.”

Since Brad’s death, Chris has taken on much more than his fallen brother’s badge number.

He’s promised to watch after Brad’s daughters, 13-year-old Lana and 6-year-old Livy, who lovingly call him Uncle Poole.

“His kids are great,” Poole said. “I love them to death. It is in my heart to always check on them and make sure they are okay because I know Brad would want me to. We are going to keep fighting the fight off the bad guys because that’s what Brad would want.”

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