It seems R&B singer R. Kelly won’t be having as much luck as Tekashi 6×9 regarding early release. Despite the increased threat of prisoners contracting the virus, Kelly’s request was denied. On Tuesday, a Brooklyn judge reviewed Kelly’s attorney request to release him amid the COVID-19 pandemic, however due to the singer’s charges and possible flight risk, his petition was denied.
According to new legal docs, obtained by TMZ, the judge said “[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.”
The judge also points to measures taken by the Bureau of Prisons in combating the spread of the virus in its facilities. Many facilities across the country have suspended all social visits, along with suspending inmate facility transfers.
Kelly is currently being held at the Chicago Metropolitan Correctional Center, where he is awaiting trial on racketeering, sexual misconduct and other charges in three jurisdictions. Last month, his attorneys asked that he be released, citing his age, 53, and a recent surgery as risk factors that made him susceptible to a severe bout of the illness.
U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly also took into account the CDC’s constant updates regarding those who are at risk and implied she ain’t buying Kelly’s part of the at-risk group because he “is 53 years old, 12years younger than the cohort of ‘older adults’ defined by the CDC as at high risk.”
“The defendant is currently in custody because of the risks that he will flee or attempt to obstruct, threaten or intimidate prospective witnesses,” Donnelly wrote. “The defendant has not explained how those risks have changed.”
She expressed her concerned regarding his fear of contracting the illness. Unlike fellow entertainers currently imprisoned, Kelly shows no serious health risks that would prove him worthy of needing to be released.
“While I am sympathetic to the defendant’s understandable anxieties about COVID-19, he has not established compelling reasons warranting his release,” she wrote.
Like rapper Tekashi 6X9, Kelly’s attorneys have requested the singer be placed on home confinement during this time. In their requests, his attorneys, Steve Greenberg and Tom Farinella, named a long list of other defendants who have been granted release due to the pandemic.
“This is not a request to open the doors and allow all inmates out, this is a specific request concerning a specific inmate,” they argued.
According to Fox News, Kelly’s attorneys requested that he be placed on home confinement at the Roosevelt Collections Loft apartment complex in Chicago. Both Greenberg and Farinella had also complained that the prison’s new restrictions to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 have made it impossible for them to meet with Kelly and prepare for trial.
No news of an appeal has been reported at this time.