R. Kelly's Request for Jail Release Due to Coronavirus Denied
R. Kelly tried to get out of jail over fears he'd catch the coronavirus, but a judge denied his request. The judge believes R. Kelly is a flight risk. The judge said, “R. 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.” As for his fears he'll catch COVID-19 if he remains behind bars, the judge said there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at MCC in Chicago where R. Kelly is locked up. The judge also points to measures taken by the Bureau of Prisons in combating the spread of the virus in its facilities, like suspending all social visits and suspending inmate facility transfers. R. Kelly had argued he's had surgery while in jail, but the judge said, "he does not explain how his surgical history places him at a higher risk of severe illness. Moreover, officials in Chicago have advised the government that doctors have completed all treatment for the defendant’s recent operation.” As for Kelly's argument, he can't meet with lawyers to strategize for his July trial, but the judge said he can still communicate via phone and email. The judge claims his trial is unlikely to even happen in July because when everything goes back to normal, his lawyers will have additional time to prepare for trial.