Jail That Released Ibrahim Bouaichi Due to Health Risk of Coronavirus Had No Cases of COVID-19

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Ibrahim Bouaichi, an inmate in Virginia who was released on bond from jail due to the Coronavirus pandemic, made headlines last week for allegedly killing his accuser.

At the time of his release, the jail where Bouaichi was held had no recorded cases of COVID-19.

Bouaichi was arrested for the alleged rape of his ex-girlfriend Karla Elizabeth Dominguez Gonzalez on October 21, 2019. Bouaichi was also held on five additional felonies.

Per Virginia law involving violent crimes, he was held without bail.

Bouaichi’s lawyers argued that Bouaichi should have been released on bond due to the increased health risks of COVID-19 faced by prisoners. The lawyers also argued that the jail “imposed severe restrictions on visitation,” according to court filings.

At the time of Bouaichi’s bond hearing, the William G. Truesdale Adult Detention Center (the jail where Bouaichi was held) allowed visits between inmates and their legal counsel. The Center also had not recorded any requests from Bouaichi’s lawyers for an in-person meeting, according to The Washington Post.

Alexandria Circuit Court Judge Nolan Dawkins, who retired in June, approved a $25,000

bond for Bouaichi on April 9. The Post reported that Judge Dawkins “did not order electronic monitoring for Bouaichi.”

On the morning of July 29, Karla Dominguez was found dead outside of her apartment with “multiple gunshot wounds on her upper body.”

Bouaichi became the prime suspect in Dominguez’s murder.

Police spotted Bouaichi on the morning of August 5. After a short chase, officers found Bouaichi alive in his vehicle, though he had suffered “a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Bouaichi was taken to the hospital in critical condition. He died from the gunshot wound on August 8.

At the time of Bouaichi’s release on bond, the William G. Truesdale Adult Detention Center had yet to record any cases of COVID-19.

In an interview with The Zebra on May 27, the jail’s Inmate Program Manager Gloria Wright confirmed that there had been no positive cases of COVID-19 up to the time of the interview.

When congratulated on the absence of positive cases by the interviewer, Wright responded with thanks. “We do our best to make sure everyone is keeping up with the standards,” said Wright. “The inmates wear masks and so does the staff.”

The Washington Post also confirmed that the jail had yet to see a single case of COVID-19. The Post said that Bouaichi’s lawyers claimed that “jails were potential coronavirus hot spots, although Alexandria’s jail had not had a case.”

According to The Marshall Project, Virginian correctional facilities have seen a total of 2,406 cases of COVID-19 and a total of 13 deaths due to the virus between April 8 and the week of August 11. This translates to a 0.045% mortality rate among inmates in Virginia, meaning 99.955% of inmates that contract COVID-19 survive.

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Sam Medley is a journalist at the Tennessee Star and Star News Network. You can follow Sam on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected]

 

 

 

 

 

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