Prison inmate released early due to COVID-19 arrested in shooting on Detroit's west side

Posted at 9:40 AM, Dec 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-26 10:35:53-05

DETROIT (WXYZ) — It could be described as a close call made by Detroit Federal District Judge Arthur Tarnow. In June, he granted an early release for 49-year old Ronald Segars over COVID-19 safety concerns.

Segars had a stroke and high blood pressure. He also told the judge in a hearing, “I am not the same person I was. I am getting older. I do not want to return to the street.”

He also said he would get a job.

Judge Tarnow said during the hearing in June that he was not so naïve to believe this somehow makes him completely safe.

"Judges are trying to follow the law," retired FBI Agent Andy Bartnowak tells 7 Action News. However, the pandemic is also taken into consideration.

Bartnowak says this will be a case everyone remembers and will consider with future requests that would be a close call.

"I think we would all be foolish to not realize this will have an impact," Bartnowak said. "All the judges are aware of this."

Segars had served three years of a five-year sentence for heroin distribution and a weapons charge. Segars did not have a violent past but did have prior weapons possession charges in 2006 and 1996.

Tarnow granted the release and told Segars to stay away from guns and drugs.

On December 14, Segars allegedly got into an argument with his fiancé and her mother and shot both of them several times.

He is also accused of walking outside the house on Detroit’s west side and firing 3 more shots. Segars is now charged with assault with intent to murder. The mother has been released. The fiancé remains in critical condition.