Courts asked to release three COVID-19 positive inmates from Porter County Jail

by Harold Harper | 4/16/2020 | Courts asked to release three COVID-19 positive inmates from Porter County Jail VALPARAISO — Petitions have been filed seeking the release of three female inmates at the Porter County Jail, who have tested positive for the coronavirus.

"That the defendant feels that if the defendant was at home with family support that the defendant would be better equipped to handle her health situations," according to the petitions filed on behalf of the women by defense attorney Bob Harper, who is serving as public defender in each of the cases.

The petitions were filed late Wednesday on behalf of Melissa Saylor, Anais Wilhelm and Kathleen Donaldson, Harper said.

The petitions claim each woman has been informed by jail staff that she has tested positive for the coronavirus, which the sheriff's department has acknowledged is spreading in the jail.

If released, the women could self quarantine at home, which will give them a better shot than the "stark" environment at the jail, Harper said Thursday morning.

Harper has requested a hearing for each woman and has offered to work with prosecutors ahead of time to come up with an agreement for their release if approved by the court. No hearings had been scheduled as of Thursday morning, he said.

Porter County Sheriff Dave Reynolds said Thursday morning he is leaving it up to the courts to decide whether to release the inmates.

Link to full story: https://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/courts-asked-to-release-three-covid-19-positive-inmates-from-porter-county-jail/article_dc65d917-cece-5a18-8863-8190a81b5698.html#tracking-source=home-the-latest

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