Dale County judge first to rule on Aniah’s Law

District Attorney Kirke Adams last Friday asked Judge Stanley Garner to deny bond for two child sex suspects which is allowed under the law that went into effect on November 28.
District Attorney Kirke Adams last Friday asked Judge Stanley Garner to deny bond for two child sex suspects which is allowed under the law that went into effec
Published: Dec. 7, 2022 at 6:40 PM CST
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - Dale County District Judge Stanley Garner appears to be the first in Alabama to rule on newly implemented Aniah’s Law.

District Attorney Kirke Adams last Friday asked Garner to deny bond for two child sex suspects which is allowed under the law that went into effect on November 28.

Aniah’s Law, named for a murdered Alabama woman, gives judges discretion to deny bond for suspects charged with the following first-degree crimes.

  • Murder
  • Kidnapping
  • Rape
  • Sodomy
  • Domestic violence
  • Human trafficking
  • Burglary
  • Arson
  • Robbery

Previously, only those charged with Capital Murder could be denied bond.

In the Dale County hearing, Adams called suspects James Crum and Laura Edens dangerous flight risks, according to court records, and urged Garner to keep them locked up.

Garner denied Adams request on Tuesday, but he set a combined $550,000 bond for the pair and ordered it must be posted in cash, which seems unlikely.

Dustin Fowler, who along with Stephen Etheridge, represents Crum had hoped for lower bail but praised Garner and Adams on how they navigated the first Aniah’s Law hearing.

“They did an excelling job of understanding the law and following it the way it was intended,” Fowler told News 4.

The legislature last year passed Aniah’s Law, with the constitutional amendment contingent on public approval.

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