FREESTONE COUNTY, Texas — Texas State Trooper Damon Allen was shot and killed by DaBrett Black on Thanksgiving 2017 during a regular traffic stop. Black shot Allen with a long gun before he sped away. But while Back had a history of violence against law enforcement and had rammed his vehicle into a sheriff deputy's car just five months prior, he was still able to get out on bond. The Damon Allen Act would change that.
The act would allow for a judge to deny bail to an individual if they are charged with a felony offense, “Involving the use or exhibition of a deadly weapon,” according to the act. The judge would need to determine with clear evidence that the individual could not be let out on bail in order to ensure “The person’s appearance in court as required” or “The safety of the community or of any person, including the victim of the alleged offense,” according to the act.
It would also allow the judge to do a pretrial risk assessment of the defendant, something that was severely lacking in Black's case.
In 2015, Black beat a Smith County Deputy and attempted to take his gun. He was arrested and charged with a felony that was later reduced to a misdemeanor.
In July of 2017, just a few months before he shot the Trooper, Black fled from police and led the officers on a high-speed chase before purposely ramming into a deputy's car.
According to previous reports, Black showed no remorse when speaking with law enforcement about the incident. Regardless, Black was still able to get out on bond.
On February 2, Governor Greg Abbott announced the Damon Allen Act would be a priority in the 2021 legislative session.
“His killer was out on a $15,000 bond despite having previously been convicted of assaulting a sheriff’s deputy, and having been arrested on charges of evading arrest and aggravated assault on a public servant,’ Abbott said. “To fix our flawed bail system and keep dangerous criminals off our streets, I am making the Damon Allen Act an emergency item this session.
The Damon Allen Act, entered as H.R. 2077, had its first public hearing in the legislature on Tuesday evening.
Also on KCENTV.com: