Ailing Adelphia founder seeks early release from prison

News

NEW YORK (WIVB) — Attorneys for 91-year-old John Rigas asked a federal judge in New York City to release him early from federal prison because he is terminally ill with cancer.

U.S. District Court Judge Kimba M. Wood directed prosecutors to respond by Tuesday.

Rigas was the founder of Adelphia Communications Corp., once one of the largest cable companies in the country.

Rigas was sentenced to 15 years in prison in 2005 for his role in the looting and subsequent bankruptcy of his company.

In an emergency filing, attorneys said Rigas had been rushed to the hospital on Dec. 4 after his cancer spread from his bladder to his lungs and kidney. His family was told that Rigas was terminal and given his age, “any sort of aggressive treatment is likely out of the question.

Papers filed in federal court in New York City said that doctors caring for Rigas “have suggested that the family deal with end-of-life decisions including the possibility of hospice care.”

The cancer had been disagnosed before Rigas was sentenced. The judge at the time said the court would give “sympathetic consideration” to a compassionate release after he had served at least two years and he was in a terminal condition with less than three months to live.

In the court filing, his attorneys said Rigas doesn’t have time to go through the compassionate release process and asked the court to grant early bail.

Rigas has been in custody in the federal Canaan Prison Camp in Wayne County, Pennsylvania.

His son, Timothy Rigas, who was also convicted in the same case, remains in Canaan on a 17-year sentence.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Now