R. Kelly’s attempt to get out of federal prison because of his fear of the corona virus was abolished on Tuesday on the grounds he had shown “no compelling reason” for temporary release and he remained a “flight risk.”
“Although I sympathize with the defendant’s anxiety about COVID-19 which can be understood, he has not set a strong reason to guarantee his release,” said District Judge A. Ann Donnelly in the Eastern District of New York in Brooklyn.
Kelly’s main lawyer, Steve Greenberg, sent a face emoji that symbolized the disappointment in responding.
U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District did not immediately respond to the message. Attorney Kelly objected to being released temporarily.
Kelly was locked up at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago awaiting trial for various sex crime charges in four jurisdictions in three states, including in the Northern District in Illinois and in the Eastern District of New York.
“At present, no COVID-19 cases have been confirmed at the MCC in Chicago,” Donnelly wrote in his decision.
What’s more, he writes, 53-year-old Kelly is not included in the category of people declared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who are most at risk of corona virus. He cited recent operations during his time locked but did not explain how it put him at a higher risk of illness, he wrote.
And Kelly remains a flight risk, according to him, which is the main reason he was jailed while awaiting his trial.
“The defendant is currently in detention because of the risk that he will run away or try to obstruct, threaten or intimidate the prospective witness. The defendant has not explained how the risk has changed,” Donnelly wrote. “Therefore, the defendant’s motion for the bail hearing and the order that gave his release temporarily was rejected.”
Kelly is just one of several celebrity inmates who want to be released from prison or prison citing coronavirus concerns, including Bill Cosby, Michael Avenatti and rapper YNW Melly.
Rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine was released early from prison for coronavirus; Bill Cosby, R. Kelly, other celebrities also want to get out
So far, only rapper Brooklyn Tekashi 6ix 9ine, 23, who suffered from asthma, was released early to a confinement house with four months to serve a two-year sentence for extortion beliefs.
Prisons and prisons, both state and federal, are among the places where the contagious corona virus spreads rapidly among inmates and guards, with the number that has been tested positive for deadly diseases potentially increasing in the confines near confinement.
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