Suspect accused of killing Bibb Co. Sheriff’s deputy has previous criminal history

Attorney General Steve Marshall issued a statement concerning Hall’s criminal record.
Published: Jun. 30, 2022 at 8:31 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 6, 2022 at 11:57 AM CDT
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BIBB COUNTY, Ala. (WBRC) - Bibb County District Attorney Michael Jackson says Austin Patrick Hall is facing multiple counts of capital murder in the death of Bibb County Sheriff’s Deputy Brad Johnson.

Jackson’s office will be prosecuting Hall and the arraignment is set for the morning of July 1 at 11 a.m. in Shelby County.

“Either way in this sense he is not going to be able to get out. We already have it in motion for his bond to get revoked,” Jackson said. “We have a hold placed on him because these offenses were committed while he was on probation.”

Hall’s first charges were back in 2012 when he was 17. He’s been convicted in the past of breaking and entering, theft, and assault.

In 2020, he was charged after officers say he choked a Calhoun County Sheriff’s Deputy. That case hasn’t gone to trial yet.

“He has committed crimes in different areas like escaping out the Wilcox County work release center,” Jackson said. “He has been charged and convicted I think of certain persons forbidden to carry a firearm and just multiple charges over the years.”

Jackson said he will be charged with multiple counts of capital murder during his arraignment Friday.

Hall is also being charged with attempted murder of an officer. More charges might be added.

UPDATE: Attorney General Steve Marshall issued a statement concerning Hall’s criminal record:

“In the days since the death of Bibb County Deputy Sheriff Brad Johnson, my Office has undertaken a thorough review of the circumstances surrounding the Bibb County shooter’s release from custody.

“The shooter’s first encounter with the law came in 2016 as a result of theft and burglary charges, for which he was placed on probation. During his probationary period, he was arrested on nine new charges of theft and burglary. Pursuant to a plea deal, he pleaded guilty to a charge of second-degree theft and was sentenced in 2018 to nine years and nine months imprisonment in the Department of Corrections, likely due to his criminal history.

“In 2019, while on work release with the Department of Corrections, the shooter escaped from custody and fled across state lines. He was recaptured shortly thereafter. 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.  The shooter ended his sentence on April 8, 2022, and was fully released from the Department of Corrections’ custody and supervision.

“Days after his release from state custody, the shooter bonded out of jail on 10 new charges in Calhoun County and 12 new charges in Chilton County—including charges of assaulting a police officer and illegally possessing a firearm. In both counties, his bond was set in keeping with the recommended fee range. After he made bond, the shooter walked free to await his trial.

“As was the case with the death of Sergeant Nick Risner last fall, this tragedy requires that we reassess the state laws and policies that abetted this shooter in the death of Deputy Brad Johnson. The People of Alabama have heard me say many times before that Alabama’s Correctional Incentive Time laws are broken. 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. Furthermore, an inmate who escapes custody should never, under any circumstance, be rewarded with early release.

Lastly, the crime of assaulting a police officer should be a Class B*, not a Class C, felony and the bond schedule for assaulting a police officer must be increased to better account for the severity of this crime.

“As I said last week, Alabama’s justice system failed the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office and Deputy Brad Johnson. I stand ready to partner with the Alabama Legislature to correct these deficiencies at the earliest opportunity and will continue to fight against any effort to further weaken Alabama’s criminal justice system.”

*Class B felonies are punishable by a term of imprisonment of not more than 20 years or less than 2 years. Class C felonies are punishable by a term of imprisonment not more than 10 years or less than 1 year and 1 day.


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