NewsVermilion Parish


Attorney: Derek Harris not set to be released until October

Posted at 5:16 PM, Aug 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-15 18:16:42-04

Derek Harris, the Abbeville man whose life sentence for a $30 drug sale was recently reduced, is not set to be released from Angola State Prison until October, his lawyer confirms.

Harris' life sentence was reduced to nine years earlier this month, which meant his release "should have been imminent," as Harris has spent more than nine years in prison after being arrested in 2009.

However, Harris' lawyer said in a press release Friday that "The Department of Corrections is maintaining Mr. Harris must serve another 62 days, which would mean release on October 14, 2020."

His family, alongside New Orleans based non-profit The Promise of Justice Initiative, is advocating for Harris' immediate release. They say he has medical issues that would be better treated at home, and his attorney adds that the current pandemic poses another threat.

They are also asking that anyone who would like to assist consider donating to a GoFundMe set up for Harris' family.

"Whether released tomorrow, or in October, Mr. Harris has a long road ahead, and he will need this and other support," the release states.

READ MORE: Family of Abbeville man set to be freed from life sentence for drug sale speaks out

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