Coronavirus Threat: R.Kelly Fearing For The Worst After Court Rebuffs Release
R. Kelly now fears for his health and his life even more after the court rebuffed his release request amid the coronavirus crisis.
On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly denied R. Kelly's second request to be released from federal jail despite the occurrence of COVID-19 cases at the Chicago's Metropolitan Correctional Center.
Judge Donnelly, who was also the one who denied Kelly's first request earlier this April, stated that the 53-year-old "Trapped In The Closet" singer is still a flight risk and could potentially "intimidate witnesses" once released.
The singer is currently waiting for the trials over his multiple sex crime-related cases in a total of four jurisdictions in three states -- in Chicago, Northern District in Illinois, and Eastern District of New York.
"The risks associated with the defendant's release have not changed," Donnelly stated firmly. "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."
The request came after the MCC confirmed that there are six inmates and seven staff members who tested positive for the virus.
Meanwhile, Mike Leonard, one of R. Kelly's attorneys, revealed that the singer feels disappointed with the judge's final resolution.
"We are quite surprised and disappointed by the Judge's Order," Leonard told USA TODAY exclusively. "We believe that it completely overlooks the now well-known fact that the situation and conditions at the MCC Chicago are dangerous to Mr. Kelly and his fellow detainees."
R. Kelly's team did their best and unrolled how the skyrocketing number of infected inmates and personnel doubled in just a couple of days. As of writing, the number of cases at the MCC already reached two dozens.
This is the second time the "When A Woman Loves" hitmaker filed a release request, and the second time to receive "Denied" as an answer as well.
On April 7, R. Kelly submitted an appeal for a temporary release, though there was no COVID-19 case that had been confirmed at the federal jail at that time. Judge Donnelly turned down the document as the singer had no compelling reasons for him to receive such sanction.
Other Celebrity Inmates Requested, Too
Aside from R. Kelly, celebrity inmates like Michael Avenatti, Bill Cosby and YNW Melly also sought to be released from the prison due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Out of all those celebrities who filed their appeals, only the 23-year-old "Get The Strap" rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine's request for temporary released has been approved due to his asthma.
He is advised for home confinement, four months before he completes his two-year case sentence for a racketeering conviction. Per 6ix9ine's legal team, he will complete the said sentence under home arrest while wearing a GPS ankle monitor.
U.S. District Judge Paul Engelmayer approved the appeal as he suggested that the current pandemic presented is considered as one of the "extraordinary and compelling reasons" for a compassionate release.