LUBBOCK, Texas– A Lubbock man was denied his appeal to get out of prison, claiming he was at risk for contracting COVID-19 due to multiple medical conditions he listed.
James Cornell Clark was convicted of fraud and money laundering in January 2008. His sentence was just short of 20 years.
“… In December 2007, Rev. Clark was also found guilty of importing an alien for immoral purposes. Clark is the former pastor of Mount Vernon United Methodist Church on Cedar Avenue in Lubbock,” a statement from federal prosecutors at the time said.
More specifically, Clark met a woman in Kenya in 2005. Court records said he arranged for her to travel to the United States and enroll at South Plains College in Levelland. Court records said Clark threatened to have her deported if she did not have sex with him.
The now 68-year-old Clark sent a handwritten letter to a federal judge, claiming he was at risk of contracting COVID-19 due to the following medical conditions: diabetes, a toe and foot amputation, heart problems, hypertension, chronic kidney problems, prior strokes, prostate problems and myocardial infarction, according to court documents.
Additionally, Clark also claimed to have served 72.4 percent of his prison sentence and was eligible for a sentence reduction under a law called the First Step Act.
However, a federal court on Monday found that Clark failed to show extraordinary, compelling reasons to be granted the relief he sought, according to court documents.
Moreover, the court found that the medical issues brought up by Clark did not serve as reasons to warrant a sentence reduction and/or compassionate release, court documents state.