MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Local law enforcement called it a preventable crime. Dayvon Bray is accused of shooting and killing his girlfriend on Jan. 14. Bray was out on bond, accused in another killing.

A new law in Alabama could make sure that people like Bray stay behind bars. Aniah’s Law, named after an Alabama teenager murdered in 2019, would allow judges to deny bond in more criminal cases. Lawmakers already passed the bill. Now it goes to voters.

“These individuals who are out on bond for violent crimes,” said State Representative Chip Brown, who sponsored the bill. “It’s a given that the bulk of them are going to turn around and repeat other violent crimes.”

Currently, only those charged with a capital crime — crimes that can be punished by the death penalty — can be held without bond in the state of Alabama. Aniah’s Law would change that.  

Mobile Public Safety Director Lawrence Battiste explained that prosecutors will still have to convince a judge to deny bond.

“We still have the burden of proving probable cause exists, that they committed the offense,” Battiste said. “We still have the burden of proving based off the past criminal history that they’re more than likely that given bond, will commit a similar offense again.”

22-year-old Dayvon Bray was arrested Friday in Mobile, charged with murder in connection with a deadly shooting on Bellingrath Road Thursday night. He’s accused of killing his 18-year-old girlfriend, Jireh Portis.

“Our hearts go out to the family to have to deal with a crisis like this, but it’s one that potentially could have been avoided,” said Battiste.

Bray was out on bond for an August murder in Prichard. He was given bond in November.

“Less than two months after getting bond, he commits another homicide. Again, this is something that could have potentially been avoided,” said Battiste.

“This is a great opportunity for the people of Alabama to take control of the criminal justice system and keep our streets safe,” said Brown.

Aniah’s law will be on the November ballot..

In a related move, the Alabama Supreme Court just took a step in closing the revolving door. The court issued an order Friday raising the recommended maximum bond amounts for murder suspects to $1.5 million. Before this, it was routine for bonds to be set considerably lower, around $150,000. These are still just recommendations, judges still have discretion when it comes to each case.