Family Fighting for Terminally Ill Inmate's Release
Madison Heights, VA - A Madison Heights family is fighting to have a loved one released from jail.
Not because he's innocent, because he's dying.
Bill Farmer's family isn't making any excuses. The 59-year-old was sentenced to serve three years in prison for a slew of DUIs and driving as a habitual offender.
But with just four to six months left to live, his family says he deserves to die in peace.
Jan Farmer left her husband's bedside at the medical unit in the Blue Ridge Regional jail.
"He told me that he loved me. I told him not to be flirting with Ms. Jones cause she's awfully pretty and he said yes, she was pretty," Farmer said, adding her husband still has his sense of humor.
Jailers gave them 15 extra minutes together because Bill Farmer's time is running short.
"He does look like a patient in a concentration camp. I can almost reach my fingers around his collarbones," Farmer said, describing her husband.
The jail administrator says Farmer's medical condition has progressed considerably since he was sentenced in July. Tim Trent even says he hopes Farmer can be released to his family. But without a court order or a medical furlough his hands are tied.
"Unless you are in for something that's very serious, I don't think you should die in jail," Trent added.
But in an email, the Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney paints a different picture of inmate 1071.
He says Bill Farmer is a danger to society after being convicted of up to eight DUIs, one of those with a blood alcohol content four times the legal limit.
Beth Boyd is Bill Farmer's stepdaughter.
"If there were any other options medically for him and he could still serve out the remaining part of his time, we would definitely go for it. But we have no other options. There is no other medical plan in place for him. It's for him to die," Boyd said.
And so Boyd is waiting and hoping her mother's love story doesn't end behind bars.
"She deserves more. She deserves more time," Boyd says, holding back tears.
Tuesday afternoon, we got word that a judge will meet with prosecutors and Farmer's defense attorney Wednesday morning to consider a medical furlough.
We'll keep you updated on what the judge decides.