Mobile police chief: Shooting arrest of man out on bond for murder shows need for ‘Aniah’s Law’

  • Published: Sep. 26, 2022, 4:17 p.m.

By John Sharp | [email protected]

A 20-year-old-man out on bond on a murder charge from April was re-arrested on Friday for shooting at an occupied dwelling.

Brandon Ely was arrested and booked into Mobile Metro Jail on a charge of shooting into an occupied dwelling for an incident that occurred at approximately 6:17 p.m. in the 1000 block of Greenwood Avenue. Also arrested on a similar charge was Terrell Dickerson, 22.

Ely was arrested in late April and booked into jail on a charge of murder. He is alleged to have shot and killed 19-year-old Keith Fredricks, who was found dead inside his vehicle on February 15 in the 7400 block of Cottage Hill Road. Police, at the time, said he died from multiple gunshot wounds.

Mobile Police Chief Paul Prine said Ely was able to pay for his bond and was released from jail in April. It’s unclear what the bond amount was at the time. Ely is being held without bond for the time being.

Prine said Ely’s arrest underscores why he believes voters should back an Alabama constitutional amendment called “Aniah’s Law.” The amendment would add about a dozen felony charges to what can keep someone in jail without bond.

The Alabama Constitution gives the right to bail for suspects except for people charged with capital murder. Voters will decide on whether to approve the constitutional amendment during the November 8 general election.

Aniah’s Law would give judges the ability to deny bail in cases involving murder, assault first degree, kidnapping, rape, sexual torture, domestic violence, first-degree burglary, first-degree robbery, arson, terrorism, and aggravated child abuse.

“It’s important we give our judges the tools to see that with certain offense, and with a suspect’s pattern to reoffend, we can get (the judges) to impose a no bond,” Prine said. “We can go back the past year or two with defendants out on bond for violent offenses are reoffending.”

He added, “Here we are again re-arresting people for causing havoc in our community.”

Prine and Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson have been pushing for the approval of Aniah’s Law in recent months. The legislation was crafted by state Rep. Chip Brown, R-Mobile, in 2019, and was unanimously backed by the Alabama Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Kay Ivey in 2021.

Mayors in the state’s 10 largest cities are also urging voters to support it. In a July Op-Ed, they wrote that judges have limited authority to deny bail to violent offenders which means that dangerous criminals could be released back onto the streets.

The proposed constitutional amendment is named after Aniah Blanchard, a 19-year-old college student from Homewood, who went missing in October 2019 and was found slain a month later. The man charged in her death had been released on bond after being charged with several violent crimes.

Mobile police chief: Shooting arrest of man out on bond for murder shows need for ‘Aniah’s Law’ –

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