Embattled R&B legend R. Kelly has learned his request to be released from prison due to fear of contracting COVID-19 has been denied.
As we reported here weeks ago, the Grammy winner was among a slew of imprisoned celebrities whose lawyers have used the global pandemic as grounds to appeal their current jail time or jail location.
Although rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine successfully won his bid for early release after asserting his previous respiratory failures put him particularly at risk if he contracted the disease (click here to read more), Kelly can’t boast the same.
A Brooklyn judge on Tuesday (April 7) denied R. Kelly’s request for release due to the coronavirus pandemic, finding that he is not among the inmates most endangered by the disease.
Kelly is being held at the Chicago Metropolitan Correctional Center, where he is awaiting trial on racketeering, sexual misconduct and other charges in three jurisdictions. On March 26, his attorneys asked that he be released, citing his age, 53, and a recent surgery as risk factors that made him susceptible to a severe bout of the illness.
On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly denied the motion, finding that he remains a flight risk.
‘“The defendant is currently in custody because of the risks that he will flee or attempt to obstruct, threaten or intimidate prospective witnesses,” Donnelly wrote. “The defendant has not explained how those risks have changed.”’