R. Kelly is trying to get released from prison for a third time.
According to TMZ, the singer’s lawyer is asking the judge to release his client to home confinement due to the fact that he is “likely diabetic.” His lawyer also claims that Kelly has high cholesterol and high blood pressure, which could place him in a dire situation if he were to contract COVID-19.
A little over a week ago, Kelly’s second request to leave jail was denied by US District Judge Ann Donnelly.
“The risks associated with the defendant’s release have not changed,” Donnelly wrote in her decision, adding that Kelly could “intimidate prospective witnesses” if he’s 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 continued. “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.”
Kelly’s attorney Mike Leonard said that they were both shocked and disappointed in the judge’s order. With the number of staff and inmates with COVID-19 increasing, Leonard believes that the conditions at the prison are dangerous to his client and other inmates.
“In fact, we pointed out in our filing that the number of COVID-19 positive detainees had doubled in a matter of a couple of days, as had the number of infected personnel – and that it is not just six detainees who have been impacted; instead it is two dozen and climbing between detainees and personnel,” Leonard said. “The government failed to come forward with any credible evidence, beyond conspiracy theories, that Mr. Kelly is a risk of flight… or a danger to the community.”
Donnelly denied the Chicago native’s first attempt to leave prison on April 7, back when the correctional center had zero cases of COVID-19.
“While I am sympathetic to the defendant’s understandable anxiety about COVID-19, he has not established compelling reasons warranting his release,” the judge wrote in her first decision.
“[Kelly] is currently in custody because of the risks that he will flee or attempt to obstruct, threaten or intimidate prospective witnesses,” she continued. “The defendant has not explained how those risks have changed.”
We will keep you updated with the judge’s third decision.