A judge in the Cayman Islands has reduced the sentence for a Gwinnett County 18-year-old and her boyfriend who broke the island’s COVID-19 quarantine rules.
Skylar Mack and her boyfriend Vanjae Ramgeet will now serve two months in jail instead of four months, according to an appeals court ruling Tuesday.
Mack, who is from Loganville, has been waking up behind bars for a week since her original sentence.
“She’s very overwhelmed. She hasn’t eaten,” her grandmother Jeanne Mack told Good Morning America. “She’s tried to eat a couple of times and she’s gotten sick.”
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Skylar Mack traveled to the Caribbean island on Nov. 27 and was required to quarantine for 14-days.
According to officials, just two days and a negative COVID-19 test later, she allegedly removed her wrist monitor and left quarantine to watch her boyfriend compete in a jet ski race.
The couple was said to have interacted with others for more than seven hours without masks, forcing other families at that event to later quarantine.
Both Mack and her boyfriend Vanjae Ramgeet, who was charged with aiding and abetting, were detained. The couple both pleaded guilty.
They were initially ordered to pay a fine and serve 40 hours of community service, but prosecutors appealed, calling the ruling too lenient.
A higher court agreed, sentencing Mack to four months in prison. Judge Roger Chapple said that the decision to violate safety measures was born of “selfishness and arrogance.”
“This was entirely deliberate and planned, as evidenced by her desire to switch her wristband the day before to a looser one that she was then able to remove,” he was quoted as saying, referring to the electronic tracking device.
Channel 2′s Tony Thomas spoke to Mack’s family on Tuesday -- they said they are devastated.
“I just want her home. I don’t know how many more nights, my whole family can can go through this, you know,” Jeanne Mack said.
Mack is a Mercer University medical student.
With the ruling, it appears Mack will miss at least a semester of her schooling. It’s something her family was desperately trying to avoid.
“Skylar is a very kind person and very sensitive. And she never in a million years meant to hurt anyone or cause anyone anxiety. She is feeling very, very guilty of that for the Cayman people,” Jeanne Mack said.
The grandmother said she even reached out to President Donald Trump for help. She said she got a response back that he read her message and it was passed along to the appropriate government agency.