The attorney for a 20-year-old Alabama State University standout student charged in the slaying of a a fellow student is asking for a bond reduction.
Ivry Hall, a Chicago native on scholarship at ASU, is charged with murder in the death of Adam Dowdell. Montgomery and ASU police announced the charges against Hall Friday, and he has been held in the Montgomery County Detention Center since than on $250,000 bond.
Few details have been released in what led up to Dowdell’s killing and Hall’s subsequent arrest. The pair had been friends for about two years. Dowdell’s mother, Toya Cohill, has said she does not believe Hall should have bond at all.
“Our sincere condolences are with the Dowdell family. Although his death was tragic, we are confident that as the investigation progresses the truth will be revealed and the innocence of my client will prevail,” said Hall’s attorney, Selma attorney Brandon J. Wooten. “Ivry Hall is a good kid and excellent student.”
The 22-year-old Dowdell, a graduate of Montevallo High School and sophomore at ASU, was found slain about 2:45 p.m. Monday, Sept. 14, when Montgomery and ASU police responded to the 800 block of Hutchinson Street near the old Booker T. Washington High School after receiving a report of a possible body. Dowdell, who wanted to become a special education teacher, had disappeared on Tuesday, Sept. 8 after leaving his on-campus dorm room to go the ATM.
Wooten on Wednesday filed a formal request to reduce Hall’s bond. In the motion, Wooten noted Hall’s scholarship and said neither his nor his relatives are “well off.” Both of Hall’s parents had died by the time he was 16.
According to Wooten, the Alabama Bail Schedule recommended range for a murder charge is between $15,000 to $150,000. “The defendant is not a flight risk as he turned his self in to the police without incident,” the lawyer wrote.
The Rev. Michael Pfleger of St. Sabina Church on Chicago’s South Side, who has been a mentor to Hall, told the Chicago Tribune over the weekend that Hall had briefly returned to Chicago while the investigation into Dowdell’s disappearance was still ongoing but returned to Alabama at his urging.
Hall’s current bond, the attorney wrote, is paramount to no bond. He pointed out that bond is meant to ensure a defendant will show up at trial and should not serve as punishment.
Hall, he wrote, “is absolutely willing to accept any conditions placed upon him by this court such as areas or persons to be avoided in order for the court to assure itself that there will be no danger to the public or any person involved in this case.”
“This traditional right to freedom before conviction permits the unhampered preparation of a defense and serves to prevent the infliction of punishment prior to conviction…unless the right to bail before trial is preserved, the presumption of innocence, secured only after centuries of struggle, would lose it’s meaning,” he wrote quoting a prior court case.
Hall, a junior at ASU who ran for SGA for the 2020-2021 season, first enrolled at ASU in 2018 and was featured in multiple news stories for overcoming a troubled youth to become valedictorian of his graduating class in Chicago. He also was a Golden Glove boxer.
Dowdell was a transfer student at ASU and a graduate of Montevallo High School. More than 200 mourners met last week at Buck Creek Park to pray, hug, and release red balloons in his memory. “Belle was a lot of things to a lot of people,” said the Rev. Gerry Bivins of Bethesda Apostolic Worship Center in Montevallo, a close family friend. “He was a great athlete. I remember him coming into the barber shop with that bushy hair, but he could catch a football. We’re going to miss him.”
Dowdell wanted to be a special education teacher. His GPA ranged from a 3.4 to a 4.0. “He was a very smart kid,” Cohill said. “Adam was a sweet, adorable kid. He was very mannerable. Everybody loved him and he loved everybody.”
A couple friends spoke at the vigil, describing him as loving, kind-hearted, and generous.
His grieving mother addressed the crowd, especially the younger people, telling them to stay focused and to be careful who they trust. “Make sure the person you call your friend is really your friend,” Cohill said. “Be cautious on who you call your friend. Everybody that smiles in your face is not your friend. That goes for friends, family, your next-door neighbors, your roommates.”
Dowdell’s funeral is set for noon Saturday, Sept. 26, at Calera High School’s football field.
Central Alabama Crime Stoppers said Tuesday the investigation is ongoing and information is still sought. Anyone with information is asked to call Montgomery police or Crime Stoppers at 334-215-STOP. Tips can also be submitted through the P3 tips app.