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Mayfield, partner granted extra week of freedom

U.S. District Judge Jay Zainey did not give a reason for the delay.

NEW ORLEANS — Grammy-winning jazz musician Irvin Mayfield and his partner Ronald Markham, who were originally ordered to surrender to federal prison Wednesday for stealing $1.3 million from public libraries, have been granted a week-long delay to the start of their 18-month sentences.

U.S. District Judge Jay Zainey did not give a reason for the delay Thursday as he unsealed the orders he issued earlier this week. Those orders pushed back the start of Mayfield and Markham’s prison terms from Jan. 5 to Jan. 12. Zainey granted a motion, which prosecutors did not oppose, asking to push Mayfield and Markham’s surrender dates back, but that request remains sealed from public view.

WWL-TV was informed Thursday morning by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons that neither Mayfield nor Markham had reported to prison Wednesday, in accordance with Zainey’s order in November that they must surrender at their assigned prison by noon Wednesday.

The news station asked Zainey’s office for an explanation Thursday morning. There was none at first, but by mid-afternoon, Zainey released an order he signed Monday granting Markham’s request for a delay, as well as his order from Tuesday giving Mayfield the same delay.

Mayfield previously requested to serve his prison term at Federal Prison Camp Pensacola, a low-security facility about three hours east of New Orleans, so he could be close to family. Zainey made that recommendation in November, but the decision of where Mayfield and Markham will actually serve their terms will not be made public until they are in Bureau of Prisons custody.

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