STOCKTON (AP) – A judge has refused to release a tuberculosis patient who was jailed and charged after allegedly refusing to take medication to keep his disease from becoming contagious.
San Joaquin County Judge Brett Morgan on Wednesday denied 34-year-old Armando Rodriguez’s request for release.
The Record of Stockton reports the judge said he was uncomfortable releasing Rodriguez because of his methamphetamine and alcohol use and past behavior.
Health officials say Rodriguez failed to take the medication on his own, once telling a nurse he had gone on an alcohol binge and taken methamphetamine and didn’t want to hurt his liver.
He pleaded not guilty Wednesday to misdemeanor charges of refusing to comply with a tuberculosis order.
His public defender, Timothy Garrigan, says health officials have not looked at alternatives to jailing Rodriguez.