Man accused in officer-involved shooting remains in custody because of Aniah’s Law


It wasn’t the attempted murder of an officer charges, but 33-year-old Jamarcus Dewayne Garrett will remain behind bars with no bond under the newly enacted Aniah’s Law.

Garrett was taken into custody early Wednesday morning and charged with two counts of attempted murder of a police officer, first degree burglary, and first degree robbery. Other charges are pending.

The reason he has no bond? The first-degree burglary charge. Why? That charge happened in a domestic violence-related incident.

Tuscaloosa Violent Crimes Unit Commander Capt. Jack Kennedy said Garrett’s bond on the attempted murder of a police officer charges is $2 million cash, but even if he could get that amount together, he’s not getting out of jail until he faces trial or accepts a plea deal.

“With Aniah’s Law, there are certain offenses that are eligible for no bond until evaluation by the court in a special hearing process,” Kennedy said. “(Bond) has to be evaluated by a judge, who can then order that subject to be held with no bond or grant a bond.”

Garrett’s racked-up charges began Tuesday evening, when Tuscaloosa Police were called to a woman’s home. The woman, who had one dated Garrett but was in the process of getting a restraining order against him, told police he’d barged into her home and stole her house keys.

A few hours later, she and several neighbors reported hearing gunshots and seeing a car matching Garrett’s in the area. Her vehicle had several bullet holes after the shooting. At that time, the woman fled her home for her safety.

After another several hours passed, the woman’s neighbors called 911 again. This time, her house was on fire. Investigators discovered evidence of arson, and Garrett was once again a person of interest.

Not long after that, police say Garrett led officers on a high-speed chase down Veterans Memorial Parkway before he smashed into several cars waiting at a red light and came to a stop after he crashed into and took down several power poles.

Garrett fired at officers when they approached the vehicle, police said, and an officer returned fire once. Garrett barricaded himself inside his vehicle and when he was finally retrieved, he was found to have been shot in the neck. It’s uncertain at this time whether it was a self-inflicted gunshot wound or if the officer was the one who struck him.

He’s being treated for his injuries and is in stable condition.

Kennedy said it’s possible that Garrett is granted bond for the robbery and burglary charges, but it’s probable he has more charges tacked on to those already existing.

“The charges that were levied were the most egregious and most apparent,” Kennedy said. “Aniah’s Law is necessary in cases like this.”

Aniah’s Law was approved by Alabama voters during the Nov. 8 election.

The law states that an individual is entitled to reasonable bail prior to conviction, unless charged with capital murder, murder, kidnapping in the first degree, sexual torture, domestic violence in the first degree, human trafficking in the first degree, burglary in the first degree, arson in the first degree, robbery in the first degree, terrorism when the specified offense is a Class A felony other than murder, and aggravated child abuse of a child under the age of six.

“I’m grateful for Aniah’s Law,” Kennedy said. “It is a great tool that we’ve needed for a long time.”

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