Brad Johnson estate getting $1M from state in settlement over his death

Fallen Bibb County Sheriff’s Deputy Brad Johnson’s two children can’t get their father back, but Alabama has agreed to pay Johnson’s estate $1 million just over a year after his death in the line of duty.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey announced the settlement Wednesday. The $1 million figure is the maximum permitted under current state law.

Johnson’s accused killer, Austin Patrick Hall, is a convicted felon with an extensive criminal history: nearly 50 charges and several prison stays.

The settlement comes after the Brad Johnson Bill was signed into law by Ivey earlier this year; that bill reduces the ability for violent criminals to have their prison sentences reduced if they exhibit good behavior while incarcerated.

Hall was let out of prison under Alabama’s former “good time” law just days before Johnson and fellow Deputy Chris Poole were shot.

“There were some questions by public officials about whether he should have been out at the time of this murder,” said attorney Tommy James, who’s representing Johnson’s estate.

That former law failed Johnson, James said.

“If the good time laws had been tightened up before his death, Austin Patrick Hall would have never been released,” he said. “The other issue is that public officials brought up the potential that there were some issues with Hall’s time in prisons and in jails and that he should not have been on the street at the time.”

Johnson’s daughters Lana and Livy are the primary recipients of the settlement.

“It’s never gonna be bring back their dad,” James said, “But this will give them a head start when they become young adults. With this money, hopefully they will be able to use it for education and transportation and things like that.”

The real justice for Johnson’s family, James said, will be when the case against Hall is finally over.

Hall faces three counts of capital murder, one count of discharging a firearm into an occupied vehicle and one count of attempted murder. If convicted, he could face the death penalty or life in prison without parole.

Ivey signed SB1 into law on April 14.

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