Disgraced R&B singer R Kelly tried to find his way out of his Chicago Federal jail cell over fears he’d catch coronavirus, but was faced with unsettling news when Federal Judge Ann M. Donnelly denied his request.
According to new legal docs obtained by TMZ, the judge said Kels is still a flight risk, and he’ll remain behind bars. ”Kelly is currently in custody because of the risks that he will flee or attempt to obstruct, threaten, or intimidate prospective witnesses. The defendant has not explained how those risks have changed,” she said.
Kelly believes he’ll catch the coronavirus if he remains in jail, as he is currently being held at Chicago’s federal MCC. But, as of today, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19. Elsewhere in the docs, Donnelly also pointed out the precautions taken by the Federal Bureau of Prisons in fighting the spread of the virus within its facilities. All social visits and inmate transfers have been suspended.
Donnelly said she’s not falling for Kelly’s defense of being part of the at-risk group because Kelly “is fifty-three years old, twelve years younger than the cohort of ‘older adults’ defined by the CDC as at high risk.”
Kelly argues that he’s had surgery while in custody, but Donnelly said, “he does not explain how his surgical history places him at a higher risk of severe illness. Moreover, officials in Chicago have advised the government that doctors have completed all treatment for the defendant’s recent operation.”
Kelly’s also said he’s unable to meet with his lawyers to strategize for his upcoming trial in July. But that claim was shot down as the judge said Kelly can still communicate via phone and email.
To make matters worse for the self-proclaimed Pied Piper, Donnelly said it’s unlikely Kelly’s trial will take place as scheduled. So not only does Kelly have to remain behind bars, he’ll have to wait an extra several more months before his trial will even begin.
Donnelly said as conditions return to normal, Kelly and his defense team will have additional time to prepare for trial.