Former NFL star Mark Ingram approved for prison release

Robert Snell
The Detroit News

Detroit — Federal prison officials Wednesday approved a request to release retired New York Giants wide receiver Mark Ingram Sr. on home confinement during the coronavirus pandemic, according to court records.

Ingram's lawyer, David Jones, revealed the government's decision late Wednesday, two weeks after requesting the Flint native's release from Milan federal prison, saying the former football star was suffering from dementia and susceptible to COVID-19.

Mark Ingram

Ingram, 54, whose son and namesake is a running back with the Baltimore Ravens, has 10 months remaining on a 21-month sentence for violating supervised release stemming from a conviction for bank fraud and laundering drug money.

The move to release Ingram on home confinement, part of a broader effort to stem the spread of COVID-19 in the nation's prisons, does not shorten his sentence.

"Instead, it would allow him to serve the additional months of his sentence in home confinement where he would continue to be under supervision," Jones wrote in an earlier court filing.

It was unclear when Ingram will be released. His lawyer did not respond to a request seeking comment immediately Wednesday and federal prison records indicated Ingram was still in Milan.

The Michigan State University star who won a Super Bowl ring during 10 seasons in the NFL is the latest among a growing list of high-profile inmates seeking release during a virus outbreak that has killed at least eight federal inmates. His request comes as Attorney General Bill Barr has ordered the Bureau of Prisons to determine which at-risk inmates should be released on home confinement.

At least 1,022 federal inmates with COVID-19 risk factors have been released on home confinement.

As of Tuesday, 446 federal inmates and 248 prison staff had tested positive for COVID-19 while 14 inmates have died of the disease.

Prosecutors, however, fought Ingram's release.

They cited Ingram’s long criminal record as a reason to keep him behind bars and said his “alleged dementia” does not leave him more susceptible to COVID-19.

The legal fight is the latest development in Ingram's long criminal record that dates to 1985.

He was convicted of bank fraud and laundering drug money in 2008, sentenced to 92 months in prison and ordered to serve five years' supervised release.

He repeatedly violated supervised release and, in February 2019, a federal judge determined Ingram had possessed a firearm and marijuana and was involved in a marijuana grow operation and failed to pay restitution.

He was sentenced to 21 months and reported to the federal prison in September.

Ingram has several health problems that leave him susceptible to COVID-19, including asthma and hypertension, his lawyer, Jones, wrote in a court filing. He also has been diagnosed with dementia and likely has Chronic traumatic encephalopathy or CTE — though the disease can only be determined following an autopsy.

His health problems include memory loss that worsened last year, his neurologist wrote.

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