WAFF confronts a sex offender about his residency

WAFF confronts a sex offender about his residency

Viewers contacted the WAFF 48 Newsroom concerned that a convicted sex offender might not be living where he's supposed to.

Reporter Jeanie Powell checked it out.

He's told authorities he's just visiting relatives; however, if he visits more than the law allows, he's breaking the law.  To make matters more complicated, his hangout is less than 2,000 feet from an elementary school.

Dannis Loius Hampton was featured in our predator segment last may.    Hampton sexually abused an adult female in 1994.

He was wanted by Huntsville Police for allegedly moving from Madison county into Huntsville without notifying authorities. A day after our broadcast, he turned himself in to police custody. The state's sex offender registry shows he re-registered in November like he was supposed to. Fast forward two months to today.

We received a tip that Hampton was once again not living at the address he had given police and that his new home is too close to a school. We traveled to the neighborhood the caller gave us. And sure enough, we found Dannis Hampton.

Jeanie: "Are you Mr. Hampton.Do you live here?"

Dannis: "No, but my mother-in-law does."

Jeanie: "Your mother-in-law? We had some reports you weren't supposed to live here."

Dannis: "I'm about to leave here."

Alabama statute does allow Hampton to visit his mother-in-law.  But if he is stays for three or more consecutive days, or spends 10 or more days total during a calendar month, the law considers that establishing a new residence.

Jeanie: "  You don't stay the night here."

Dannis: "No. My brother is about to come get me."

That's part of the confusion with the current sex offender laws. The home is within 2000 feet of Terry Heights Elementary School, which makes it a 'no go zone'. He can visit, but he can't live there.

Dannis: "What's the problem?"

Jeanie: "We have reports you were just living over here and it's too close to a school."

Dannis: "No. I'm just waiting [for my brother to come get me]".

Huntsville Police are investigating where Hampton is really spending his time.

The Attorney General's Office and law enforcement are looking at revisiting parts of this legislation this coming session to clarify some confusing verbage and perhaps narrow the definition of 'taking up residency'.