MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WHNT) — On Wednesday morning, Governor Kay Ivey officially signed House Bill 143 into law, named in honor of Sheffield K-9 Sergeant Nick Risner.
Sgt. Risner was killed in the line of duty in October of 2021. Brian Lansing Martin, who had been released in 2016 after being convicted of manslaughter, is still under investigation in connection to Risner’s death.
The bill, sponsored by Representative Phillip Pettus, prevents convicts who use a deadly weapon to kill someone from being released early under Alabama’s “Good Time” law. The law allows eligible prisoners to be able to shorten their prison sentences through “good time served.”
The Legislature approved the correctional incentive time law in 1980. The law says eligible inmates “whose record of conduct shows that he or she has faithfully observed the rules for a period of time… may be entitled to earn a deduction from the term of his or her sentence.”
Governor Ivey met with the Risner family, offering her full support for this legislation as it moved through the process.
“Sergeant Risner’s killer should have never been released from prison in the first place,” said Gov. Ivey. “And while there is nothing that can be done to reverse this horrific tragedy, this legislation will go a long way in ensuring violent offenders remain off the streets. I’m especially thankful to Representative Phillip Pettus and the members of both the House and Senate for ensuring this life-saving legislation got across the finish line. My prayers remain with the Risner family.”
The murder trial against Martin is still ongoing. A grand jury indicted Martin in January after the case was bound over to a grand jury in December.
Martin remains in custody at the Morgan County Jail. His arraignment is set for April 28 at 9:00 a.m. in the Colbert County Courthouse.