R. Kelly’s lawyer wants trial delayed due to prison quarantine
NEW YORK (AP) – R. Kelly’s new lawyers are asking a judge to postpone his August 9 sex trafficking trial in New York City., arguing that they did not have enough time to prepare as he has been in mandatory quarantine in prison since his transfer from Chicago.
In a letter to U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly on Monday, attorney Deveraux Cannick wrote that Kelly’s 14-day quarantine ending Tuesday exacerbated what Cannick called a “Herculean effort” to level up. after they were hired on June 21.
Cannick argued in the letter that Kelly’s new lawyers I was unable to meet him in person due to his 40s and that continuing the R&B star’s trial as scheduled would deprive him of effective and meaningful representation.
Kelly, whose legal name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, was placed in quarantine upon his arrival at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn on June 22 from Chicago, where he was being held on similar charges.. Tuesday will mark 14 days since Kelly’s transfer to Brooklyn.
âRobert can’t wait to have his day in court; but not at the expense of his Sixth Amendment rights, âCannick wrote, saying the request was not a delaying tactic.
Federal prosecutors had not responded to Cannick’s request on Monday evening and declined to comment. Donnelly has yet to rule on the filing.
Federal prisons are quarantining inmates transferred and newly incarcerated since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic under protocols to prevent the spread of the disease.
Kelly, 54, is accused of running a business made up of its managers, bodyguards and other employees who helped it recruit women and girls for sexual purposes. Federal prosecutors said the group selected the victims at concerts and other venues and arranged their trip to see Kelly. The Grammy-winning singer denies ever abusing anyone.
Cannick said that after Kelly’s quarantine was over and he would be allowed to meet with his lawyers, they would be forced to fight for one of Brooklyn Jail’s limited conference rooms. If a room is not available, he wrote, they will have to meet Kelly at a table alongside other lawyers and inmates.
“The nature of the evidence here does not lend itself to open discussions in such an environment,” Cannick wrote.