CENTRAL, La. —
A lawyer who represents the Baton Rouge-area pastor who notoriously defied Louisiana’s stay-at-home has reportedly been hospitalized due to the coronavirus.
According to The Advocate, Jeff Wittenbrink has been at Baton Rouge General Hospital since Tuesday after his health condition progressively worsened including high fever and persistent cough. Wittenbrink is serving as a local counsel for former Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore who is helping to represent Rev. Tony Spell in a legal battle over Louisiana’s social distancing restrictions.
Spell was issued a summons earlier this month for holding services previously at the church in violation of the governor's order banning gatherings.
Wittenbrink told the newspaper that he had been to two events at Spell’s church this month - an April 2 news conference and April 5 service at Life Tabernacle Church - though he said he did not feel ill during the church events and had “no idea” how he may have contracted the virus.
“I went to Alberton’s twice a day. I wen to Sam’s. I went to Walmart. I went to Lowe’s. I used gas pumps. I mean, I just wasn’t careful. God knows where I got it. The bad thing is I might have spread to somebody. I feel bad about that,” Wittenbrink told the newspaper.
Wittenbrink told the newspaper he is proud of Spell and the virus has not changed his determination to still represent him.
As of Thursday, Louisiana has reported 22,532 positive cases of the coronavirus disease in the state. In total, 1,156 people have died since the outbreak was first discovered there on March 9.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.