R. Kelly is again requesting to be released from jail over fear of contracting the coronavirus.
According to Variety, on Thursday, Kelly’s lawyers renewed their request for the ‘I Believe I Can Fly’ singer to get out in order to maintain his health.
The reason for the renewal request is due to the fact that six inmates have tested positive for the coronavirus at the same facility Kelly is being held in.
Just last week, U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly denied Kelly’s initial release request, due to him being “posed a flight risk.” The judge also worried that Kelly would attempt to intimidate witnesses if released.
However, the difference between this request versus the first request is no one at the facility had tested positive for the virus at the time, while there are now six confirmed cases amongst inmates and seven within the staff.
Following his first request, prosecutors cited the facility taking the necessary steps to prevent further spread of the disease as a reason for Kelly not to be released due to him not being in a high-risk category.
Now, according to his attorney Michael I. Leonard, Kelly and other inmates are currently experiencing “tremendous stress and anxiety.”
“Inmates are reportedly banging on doors, walls, and windows begging for help,” Leonard wrote. “The only thing the MCC [Chicago Metropolitan Correctional Center] has done is lock things down, making conditions feel more like solitary confinement; and possibly, because of the nature of this virus, locking in healthy inmates with those who already have the virus but who may not yet be symptomatic.”
Another cause for concern for Kelly and Leonard is that recent data reports from the Bureau of Prisons show that 500 inmates nationwide have tested positive for COVID-19, with 17 deaths at various facilities.
“Based on all of the above, that Mr. Kelly will be infected with this deadly disease, is now, unfortunately, an absolute probability,” Leonard continued.
Trying to convince the judge, Leonard insinuated that should Kelly be released to an apartment in Chicago, while being monitored with a tether, so there’s no possibility of him escaping.
“[Kelly] would be perhaps the most obvious and recognizable person on the streets of Chicago, or anywhere else in the country, in light of the
severe stay-at-home restrictions that are and will continue to be in place and enforced,” Leonard continued.