Lompoc prison inmate dies amid worsening coronavirus outbreak

United States Penitentiary, Lompoc

A 66-year-old Lompoc prison inmate who tested positive for coronavirus died on Friday, as the worst outbreak among federal penitentiaries has apparently worsened. [KSBY]

On April 5, Oliver M. Boling went into respiratory failure at the United States Penitentiary in Lompoc. Boling was then taken to a local hospital, where he tested positive for coronavirus, according to the United States Bureau of Prisons. Two days later, hospital staff placed Boling on a ventilator after his condition declined. 

Boling had long-term preexisting medical conditions, according to the Bureau of Prisons.

The deceased inmate had been at Lompoc prison since May 2018. He was serving a sentence of more than 71 years for convictions of sodomy, assault with a deadly weapon, prison breach, larceny and armed robbery. Boling was sentenced in Washington, D.C.

Boling was one of 80 Lompoc prison inmates who have tested positive for the coronavirus, the highest total among federal penitentiaries. Another 30 Lompoc prison staffers have likewise tested positive. 

Health officials say they expect cases at the Lompoc prison to keep increasing over the coming weeks. There are currently a total of 979 inmates housed at the medium-security Lompoc prison. 

Previously, the Bureau of Prisons had not reported any coronavirus deaths at the Lompoc penitentiary. However, several media reports state Efrem Stutson, 60, died earlier this month after contracting coronavirus at the prison.

Officials reportedly released Stutson on April 1, prior to the completion of his sentence but after he had served 27 years behind bars. Stutson was reportedly sick at the time and then hospitalized within hours of his release. He died on April 6.

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