MONTGOMERY Ala. (AP) — The estate of an Alabama sheriff’s deputy killed in the line of duty last year will receive $1 million, the maximum amount allowed under state law, Gov. Kay Ivey announced Wednesday.
Bibb County Sheriff’s Deputy Bradley Johnson and another deputy, Chris Poole, were hit by gunfire June 29, 2022, by a man law enforcement officials said was released early under good time provisions after serving four years of a 10-year theft sentence. The early release occurred despite him escaping from a prison work release center in 2019.
Austin Hall was arrested and charged in the case following a 16-hour manhunt. Poole recovered, but Johnson died the following day.
“Fundamental flaws in Alabama law granting correctional incentive ‘good time’ to inmates failed Deputy Johnson and his family,” Ivey said in a statement. “On January 9, I issued an executive order to halt the deficiencies in correctional good time that allowed inmates reduced prison sentences and early release despite records of violent behavior and escape. On April 14, I was also proud to sign into law SB1, which codifies further reforms to correctional good time to ensure that convicted felons no longer access loopholes in the law to threaten law enforcement and the public.”
Hall has been charged with capital murder for Johnson’s killing and is being held without bond.
“Deputy Johnson was more than a law enforcement officer; he was a devoted public servant and a true hero, and we will never forget his sacrifice,” attorney Tommy James said. “His tragic death is a stark reminder of the dangers our law enforcement officers face every day.”
Now that the settlement has been reached, Johnson’s two daughters and other members of his family can focus on the criminal case against Hall, James said.
“They are hoping for swift and severe justice,” he said.