R. Kelly Requests Release From Jail Due to Coronavirus Concerns (UPDATE)
Kelly has two trials set for later this year.
Image via Getty/Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune
UPDATED 03/30/20 6:50 p.m. ET:Federal prosecutors have responded to R. Kelly asking to be released due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to documents obtained by Complex. The documents were filed in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn on Monday, Match 30.
The prosecutors argue that the disgraced singer should not be released as they believe he's a flight risk. "The defendant continues to pose both a flight risk and a serious risk of obstruction," prosecutors wrote in their response to Kelly's request. "His motion for emergency bail, based primarily on the generalized risks from COVID-19 and circumstances that are hardly unique to him, do not overcome the risks he poses if released."
See original story below.
R. Kelly filed a motion through his attorney Steven Greenberg on Thursday asking for his release from the Chicago Metropolitan Correctional Center on bond as he awaits his next trial later this year, claiming that he cannot remain at Chicago MCC, especially since he is "within the group of people the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has categorized as most-at-risk for contracting COVID-19."
In court documents obtained by Complex, Greenberg cites the Bail Reform Act, which allows for the "temporary release" of a person in pretrial custody if it's deemed necessary "for preparation of the person's defense or for another compelling reason." His lawyer addresses both scenarios as being possible reasons for his release since the coronavirus outbreak has allegedly made it difficult for him to meet with his legal team while his age and a recent surgery while incarcerated only heighten his chances of contracting the virus.
Kelly's lawyer believes that the Chicago MCC is not a safe place for his client to stay as the pandemic continues to spread, regardless of the safety measures taken by the facility. "No matter what steps they take the sanitation will be substandard, the risk of an internal pandemic at the MCC is great, and if one does get sick jail healthcare is notoriously substandard," the doc reads.
If he were to be released, Kelly would live at the Roosevelt Collection Lofts apartment complex with one of his girlfriends, Joycelyn Savage.
6ix9ine filed a similar request earlier this week, claiming that his asthma and other pre-existing conditions make him a prime candidate for COVID-19, but a judge shot down his attempt at transitioning the rapper to home confinement days later.