TMZ: Ex-NBA PF Kermit Washington Denied Early Prison Release Amid COVID-19 Fear

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMay 24, 2020

LANDOVER, MD - CIRCA 1978: Kermit Washington #26 of the Boston Celtics looks on from the bench against the Washington Bullets during an NBA basketball game circa 1978 at the Capital Centre in Landover, Maryland. Washington played for the Celtics from 1977-78. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
Focus On Sport/Getty Images

A judge denied former NBA forward Kermit Washington's motion to be granted an early release from prison because of the coronavirus pandemic.

"The risk of the spread of COVID-19 alone is not enough to constitute extraordinary and compelling reasons for release," the judge said, per TMZ Sports.

Washington filed the motion in April, saying he is at "high risk of death or serious illness" if he were to catch COVID-19. Prisons have been greatly impacted throughout the pandemic.

Washington was sentenced to six years in federal prison in 2018 for embezzling money from a charity opened to help children in Africa who were hungry or HIV positive. The U.S. Attorney's office called on Washington to pay nearly $970,000 in restitution.

Washington, 68, played for five teams over 10 NBA seasons. He is most well-known for nearly killing Rockets forward Rudy Tomjanovich with a punch during an in-game fight in 1977 while he was with the Lakers. The NBA suspended Washington for 60 days for the punch, and Tomjanovich made a full recovery.