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Compassionate release request denied

Defendant fears contracting COVID-19, but records show he has been fully vaccinated

By: Bennett Loudon//October 28, 2021

Compassionate release request denied

Defendant fears contracting COVID-19, but records show he has been fully vaccinated

By: Bennett Loudon//October 28, 2021//

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A federal judge has denied a request for compassionate release from prison filed by an inmate who fears contracting the COVID-19 virus.

Defendant Winsett Derrick Stubbs pleaded guilty in July 2018 to two counts of federal bank robbery.

Stubbs was accused of an attempted robbery of the Chase Bank at 560 Monroe Ave., and robbery of the Summit Federal Credit Union, at 1660 Monroe Ave., both on Dec. 5, 2017. He also was accused of robbing the Chase Bank at 920 Holt Road, in Webster, on Dec. 7, 2017.

At the Chase Bank on Monroe Avenue, the teller refused to give Stubbs any money, and he left. Stubbs got $800 from the Summit robbery and $2,425 from the Chase Bank robbery.

On May 20, 2019, under the terms of a plea agreement, Stubbs pleaded guilty and was sentenced to two concurrent terms of seven years in prison.

Stubbs is now housed at the United States Penitentiary in Atlanta, where he has served only about 28 months of the sentence.

Stubbs filed a pro se motion for compassionate release based on a concern that, because of some medical condition, he fears contracting the COVID-19 virus.

Government lawyers filed a response to the motion, opposing the application for release.

In a decision released Monday, the motion for compassionate release was denied by U.S. District Court Judge David G. Larimer.

Stubbs needed to first exhaust all his administrative options before taking his request to court and he must present “extraordinary and compelling reasons” for a reduction in his sentence, Larimer wrote.

The government attorneys did not dispute that Stubbs had exhausted his administrative remedies, but they contend that Stubbs failed to present extraordinary and compelling reasons for release.

In his motion, Stubbs listed several medical conditions he has, “but none of them alone, or in combination, warrant his release,” Larimer wrote.

“But, more importantly, it appears that Stubbs has been fully vaccinated, having received two vaccine shots within the last several months. That fact suggests that release is inappropriate,” Larimer wrote.

Larimer noted that numerous federal judges, including himself, have held that compelling and extraordinary circumstances do not exist where an inmate has been fully vaccinated, he wrote.

“The vaccine has been determined to be highly effective and significantly reduces the risk of catching the virus or becoming seriously ill if infected. In addition, it appears that Stubbs is receiving appropriate medical care for the conditions about which he complains,” Larimer wrote.

In addition, according to a report from the Probation Office, at Atlanta USP, where Stubbs has been housed, only a few inmates have now tested positive and numerous inmates and staff have recovered from the virus, according to the decision.

The request was denied principally because Stubbs has been vaccinated, he failed to demonstrate extraordinary and compelling reasons to release him. He also has a significant prior criminal record, Larimer noted.

[email protected] / (585) 232-2035

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