HOUSTON, Texas — Texas Governor Greg Abbott will sign the Damon Allen Act into law on Monday to stop the release on personal bonds of suspects charged with violent offenses. The bill honors Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Damon Allen who was murdered in 2017 by a man released on a low bond who had previously been convicted for assaulting a public servant.
The signing of Senate Bill 6, the Damon Allen Act, into law will take place at the Safer Houston Summit on Monday, according to information provided by the Office of the Texas Governor. Lt. Governor Dan Patrick and Kasey Allen, the widow of Trooper Allen will attend the summit and signing ceremony.
“Senate Bill 6, also known as the Damon Allen Act, will keep Texas communities safe and secure by prohibiting the release on personal bond of defendants charged with a violent offense or who are charged while released on bail,” Governor Abbott’s office stated. “The bill also requires a defendant be granted or denied bail within 48 hours of their arrest and that a defendant’s criminal history be examined before setting bail.”
Trooper Damon Allen pulled over a vehicle for a traffic violation on Thanksgiving Day in 2017, Breitbart Texas reported. During the course of the traffic stop, Dabrett Montreal Black is reported to have pulled out a rifle and murdered Trooper Allen.
“My husband was murdered doing his job, protecting the citizens of Texas on November 23, 2017,” Kasey Allen told Texas legislators during a hearing on the bill named in her late husband’s honor. “The day of his death we had Thanksgiving lunch together as a family. As a trooper, you don’t get holidays off. Because criminals don’t take holidays off. I kissed Damon goodbye that day. He said, ‘I’ll see you tonight.’ He passed by the kid’s rooms to give them hugs. He then left for work. He never came home.”
At the time of the murder of Trooper Allen, Black had been released on bond following an incident where he rammed a sheriff’s deputy’s vehicle during a pursuit.
KWTX CBS10 reported:
In July 2017, four months before the deadly shooting, Black led authorities on the 105-mile-per-hour chase, during which he intentionally rammed a Smith County deputy’s vehicle.
The deputy had to be freed from the wreckage before he was taken to a hospital for treatment.
Black was charged with evading arrest, aggravated assault of a public servant and reckless driving, but was released from jail after posting bonds totaling just $15,500.
And that wasn’t the first time he had a violent run in with authorities.
Black was arrested in March 15, 2015 in Smith County after a sheriff’s deputy was attacked while trying to restrain him after responding to an assault call.
The deputy suffered a broken nose and two black eyes during the nearly two-minute beating and six stitches were required to close his wounds.
The signing ceremony for the Damon Allen Act will take place in Houston on Monday. The state’s largest city is currently experiencing a spike in murders committed by people who have been released by judges in Harris County after being accused of multiple felonies.
Houston Crimestoppers reports that 131 victims have been killed by suspects released on bonds, Click2Houston reported.
The act will go into effect 90 days after Abbott signs it into law on Monday. It will eliminate personal bonds for move violent criminal charges including murder, aggravated robbery, and aggravated sexual assault, the local NBC affiliate reported. Judges will be required to review the criminal and bond history for every defendant prior to setting a new bond.
The act also requires a monthly report to be made public showing which judges are setting bonds for violent criminals.