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Alabama lawmakers pass bill increasing penalties for making a false police report

A bill that would increase penalties for falsely reporting a crime to law enforcement is heading to Alabama Governor Kay Ivey’s desk.

Yellowhammer state lawmakers passed the bill Wednesday in the Senate by a 32-0 vote.

After Carly Russell faked a kidnapping on Interstate 459 in Hoover last summer, the case drew national attention, with many in the state calling for tougher penalties for making false reports to police. Collected.

Carly Russell pleads guilty to false kidnapping report in Alabama

A bill that would increase penalties for falsely reporting a crime to law enforcement passed the Senate on a 32-0 vote Wednesday and is headed to Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey’s desk. (Ilya Nouverge of The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Falsely reporting a crime to authorities is a Class A misdemeanor in Alabama, but if Ivey signs the bill, it would become a felony if there is an “allegation of imminent danger to any person or public.”

It would also make it easier to order compensation for the amount the authorities spent on the case.

“The purpose of this bill is to create a deterrent for people who blatantly lie when reporting a crime so they can experience the full force of the law,” State Attorney General Steve Marshall said in a statement. That’s what we should do.”

Alabama Steve Marshall and Carly Russell

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall previously told Fox News Digital that he was concerned that the Carly Russell hoax would have a “crying wolf” effect on the public. (Hoover Police Department, Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Carly Russell admits she lied about disappearance on Alabama highway: police

Russell later admitted to fabricating the entire incident, but disappeared for two days after calling Hoover police on July 13 to report an infant on the interstate. Russell faked a kidnapping by telling the dispatcher he was stopping to check on the child.

She showed up at her parents’ home late on July 15, after a massive search by law enforcement and volunteers and national headlines over the alleged kidnapping.

A few days later, Russell’s lawyer released a statement through police saying there was no kidnapping and Russell had never seen the infant. She also apologized to her law enforcement agencies and the volunteers who searched her through her statement.

Carly Russell leaves court

Carly Russell pleaded guilty in March to reporting false information to law enforcement. Although she was spared her prison sentence, she was ordered to pay more than $17,000 in restitution. (Fox News Digital’s Dana Mixer)


Russell pleaded guilty on March 21 to providing false information to law enforcement. She was given a six-month suspended sentence, which spared her imprisonment, and ordered: Pay more than $17,000 in restitution.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.