Terre Haute prison inmate with COVID-19 dies; 3 others have virus

An inmate at the federal prison complex in Terre Haute who had COVID-19 has died, and three others there also have tested positive for the disease, the Bureau of Prison said Tuesday.

Inmate Gregory Phinton Glenn reported chest pains and shortness of breath Sunday at the maximum-security penitentiary of the western Indiana complex, the bureau said.

Staff immediately escorted Glenn, 56, to a clinic at the prison and requested emergency medical services. He was transported to a local hospital for further treatment and was pronounced dead by hospital staff following cardiac arrest, the bureau said.

Glenn tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavius, before going to the hospital, the bureau said.

Glenn was sentenced in the Southern District of Iowa to a 14-month sentence for a supervised release violation. His original conviction was for possession with intent to distribute heroin and fentanyl.

He had been in custody at the Terre Haute penitentiary since April 21, the Tribune-Star reported.

The bureau’s coronavirus website shows that as of Monday three inmates, but no staffers have tested positive for COVID-19 at the penitentiary.

Some prisoners at the federal prison in Terre Haute have asked for early or home release because of the pandemic, including former Indianapolis-area executives Paul Elmer and Thomas Buck.

Elmer, the 69-year-old former CEO of Pharmakon Pharmaceuticals, was sentenced in September to 33 months in prison for manufacturing and selling drugs that were as much as 25 times more potent than they should have been. He asked for early release in April, citing his age and several medical conditions.

Buck, 66, a former powerhouse Merrill Lynch broker, was sentenced to 40 months in federal prison last year for securities fraud. He asked a district court to give him “compassionate release” or home confinement because he has a medical history of respiratory disease.

Earlier, Todd Wolfe, founder of the defunct Indianapolis debt-collection agency Deca Financial Services Inc., filed a motion seeking compassionate release from the Big Sandy U.S. Penitentiary in Inez, Kentucky. Wolfe in June 2017 was sentenced to 51 months in prison for wire, bank and bankruptcy fraud.

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