R. Kelly has struck out for a third time.
According to the Chicago Tribune, U.S. District Judge Ann M. Donnelly has denied Kelly’s third bid to be released from prison early. Earlier this month, the singer’s lawyer asked the judge to release his client to home confinement due to the fact that he is “likely diabetic.” Today (May 15), the judge stated that the singer’s prediabetic condition is not enough to place him at high risk to contract Coronavirus in prison.
“I do not agree that a diagnosis of prediabetes presents a compelling reason for the defendant’s release,” wrote Judge Donnelly in her decision. “While the CDC has identified diabetes as a risk factor for COVID-19, the same is not true for prediabetes, a condition that affects nearly one in three American adults.”
Kelly has seen medical professionals during his sentence. They have recommended the “I Believe I Can Fly” singer to exercise and lose weight to manage his condition.
“The healthcare professionals at the [Metropolitan Correctional Center] see him regularly and are working with him to implement lifestyle changes so that his condition improves,” Judge Donnelly wrote. “Those recommendations include diet, weight loss and exercise.”
Following the singer’s second request to leave prison early, Judge Donnelly said that she believed he could “intimidate prospective witnesses” if he were to be released.
“The defendant continues to downplay the risk that he might flee, citing his attendance record in connection with the 2002 state criminal charges against him,” she wrote. “Even aside from the risk of flight, the risk that the defendant would try to obstruct justice or intimidate prospective witnesses has not dissipated, and poses a danger to the community.”
The Chicago Tribune also reports that there are currently “49 inmates at Chicago’s Metropolitan Correctional Center with confirmed COVID-19 infections.” The outlet also states that 15 members of the prison staff have tested positive for the disease as well.