A jury has resumed deliberations in New York City on Monday (Sept. 27) in the racketeering and sex trafficking trial of R. Kelly.
According to Chicago Tribune reporter Jason Meisner, the jurors are having a hard time making a decision about the “I Believe I Can Fly” singer’s fate and asked for clarification on the laws in Illinois for one of the racketeering counts. “JUST IN: The jury deliberating #RKelly’s fate in NY has asked a judge for clarification of Illinois law involving one of the racketeering counts: The alleged kidnapping of victim Sonja, who testified she was held against her will at Kelly’s music studio on Larrabee Street in 2004,” he tweeted.
“The jury’s note said the use of the words ‘and/or’ in the indictment vs. Illinois statute ‘is making a clear decision difficult,’” Meisner tweeted. “They also asked for transcripts of testimony by Kelly employees Tom Arnold and Nicholas Williams.”
As REVOLT previously reported, last Friday (Sept. 24), a jury of seven men and five women started deliberations for the trial. They listened to 50 witnesses over the span of 23 days. During closing arguments, Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Geddes told jurors that Kelly used his brand and music to “target, groom and exploit girls, boys and women.” She also said that his inner circle worked “as enablers for his criminal conduct.”
Kelly’s legal team pushed back, accusing the witnesses of lying about their relationship with the singer and trying to profit off of his name. “A lot of people watched ‘Surviving R. Kelly,’ and unfortunately, a lot of people are now surviving off of R. Kelly,” Attorney Deveraux Cannick said.
Kelly has pleaded not guilty to charges accusing him of sexually abusing girls, women and boys for more than 20 years. He is also charged with several counts of the Mann Act, which makes it unlawful to move anyone across state lines “for any immoral purpose.”
Check out Meisner’s tweets below.
The jury's note said the use of the words "and/or" in the indictment vs. Illinois statute "is making a clear decision difficult." They also asked for transcripts of testimony by Kelly employees Tom Arnold and Nicholas Williams.— Jason Meisner (@jmetr22b) September 27, 2021
After nearly 2 1/2 hours of legal quibbling, the judge has finally answered the jury's question. The answer essentially boils down to this: "For purposes of the indictment, 'and' means 'or'"— Jason Meisner (@jmetr22b) September 27, 2021
This note seems to indicate the jury is stuck a bit on this one aspect of the racketeering conspiracy (there are a total of 14 separate RICO acts alleged in the indictment. Last week, they asked for a floor plan of the Larrabee studio.— Jason Meisner (@jmetr22b) September 27, 2021