R. Kelly will have to remain behind bars as the country battles the coronavirus pandemic and the virus rampages the jail system.
Today, Judge Ann Donnelly denied the disgraced singer’s motion for bail because he’s failed to show that he’s truly at risk for catching the disease and remains a flight risk and a danger to witnesses, BOSSIP can reveal.
In her ruling April 7, Judge Donnelly said although many jails were freeing inmates who were at high risk of complications, or even death from COVID-19, Kelly has not proven that he was high risk. Further, she said Kelly is at risk of skipping town and threatening witnesses in his case.
“While I am sympathetic to the defendant’s understandable anxiety about COVID-19, he has not established compelling reasons warranting his release,” Judge Donnelly wrote in the order, which was obtained by BOSSIP.
Judge Donnelly added: “The defendant here has not demonstrated an analogous change in circumstances that would alter the Court’s conclusion that he is a flight risk and that he poses danger to the community, particularly to prospective witnesses.”
Kelly’s legal team argued that his jail, the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago, was a filthy breeding ground for the disease and that lax cleaning and sanitary conditions inside the facility meant that it was only a matter of time before he’d become infected. He said the current lockdown in the jail meant that he couldn’t meet with his lawyers to strategize for his defense for his trial on sex abuse charges, which is scheduled to begin in July.
But the feds tried to block Kelly’s bid for freedom, arguing that soap was available for all inmates free of charge, and inmates and jail staff were being screened for the disease and staff were working to keep inmates away from each other. They said he was a habitual offender who has the resources and network to flee and intimidate witnesses.
The judge said there haven’t been any confirmed cases of the disease and said jail officials had enacted emergency measures in the institution in order to protect inmates and staff from the disease.