Alabama Inmate, 80, dies after contracting COVID-19

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An inmate at Staton Correctional Facility in Elmore County has died after testing positive for COVID-19. (Source: WSFA 12 News file photo)

ELMORE COUNTY, AL- An inmate at Staton Correctional Facility in Elmore County has died after testing positive for COVID-19.

According to the Alabama Department of Corrections, Robert Stewart, an 80-year-old inmate serving a life-sentence for murder out of Baldwin County, died Sunday. He began showing symptoms of COVID-19 on June 8, and, due to his advanced chronic health conditions, he was transferred from the prison infirmary to a hospital. He tested positive for the virus on Wednesday.

ADOC said a full autopsy will determine Stewart’s cause of death. As of Monday, four ADOC inmates who had tested positive for COVID-19 have died, including Clarence Shepherd, an 80-year-old inmate at St. Clair Correctional Facility, who died Friday. He was serving a life without the possibility of parole (LWOP) sentence for murder out of Jefferson County and a LWOP sentence for murder and escape out of Autauga County.

On Thursday, all inmates in Staton’s infirmary were tested for the virus, and 13 had positive results. They are in medical isolation. The infirmary, previously at level-two quarantine, is now at level-three quarantine.

Forty-one total cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed among the inmate population, 20 of which remain active.

ADOC also confirmed three more employees self-reported they have positive COVID-19 results:

  • one staff member employed at Bibb Correctional Facility in Brent
  • one staff members employed at Staton Correctional Facility in Elmore
  • one (1) staff member employed at Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women in Wetumpka

Ninety COVID-19 cases among ADOC staff and contracted staff remain active. Thirty-two staff members who previously self-reported a positive test have been cleared by medical providers to return to work.

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