Derrick Todd Lee, the 47-year-old St. Francisville man convicted in the murders of two women and suspected in the deaths of five other women, was in his fourth day of treatment outside the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola on Tuesday for unspecified medical reasons.
Lee’s attorney, Gary Clements, director of the Capital Post-Conviction Project of Louisiana, declined to comment beyond saying it’s taken him and his team days to figure out Lee’s situation after hearing of his hospitalization in the news media.
“He’s a human being. He has a family. We’re gonna take care of it. Just let the man get his medical treatment,” Clements said.
Clements said privacy laws like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act prevent him from talking about Lee’s ailment. “These (laws) don’t disappear when you get on death row,” Clements said.
Department of Public Safety and Corrections spokeswoman Pam Laborde said Lee had been transported Saturday somewhere beyond the boundaries of Angola prison, where Lee is on death row for the 2002 slaying of Charlotte Murray Pace, 22, and is serving a life sentence in the 2002 murder of Geralyn Barr DeSoto, 21. He’s suspected of killing five other women but was not tried in those cases.
Laborde said she could not answer a question about how much the state is paying for Lee’s medical treatment, adding, “I’m pretty confident that (the corrections department) has not been sent a bill yet.” She said Tuesday she had no update to the information that Lee was being treated at an undisclosed location outside Angola and said she could not answer questions about the serial killer’s condition, citing the federal HIPAA law and a state law relating to the confidentiality of information obtained by the corrections department.
Follow Maya Lau on Twitter, @mayalau.