R. Kelly’s Request for Coronavirus Release Denied

R. Kelly won’t be getting out of jail.

A Brooklyn judge denied the singer’s request for release on Tuesday due to the coronavirus pandemic. According to Variety, the judge ruled that he is not among the inmates most endangered by the disease.

Kelly remains behind bars at the Chicago Metropolitan Correctional Center, where he is awaiting trial on racketeering, sexual misconduct, and other charges in three jurisdictions.

Last month, his attorneys filed a request for the 53-year-old singer’s release, citing his age and a recent surgery as factors that put him at greater risk for the virus. They asked that he be placed on home confinement in Chicago.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly denied the motion, saying Kelly 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,” said Donnelly. “The defendant has not explained how those risks have changed.”

Prosecutors also noted that MCC Chicago inmates are provided with free soap, and more is available to purchase from the commissary. “Simply residing in MCC Chicago cannot be a basis for being released,” argued prosecutors.

Other high-profile inmates have asked for their release due to the pandemic. 6ix9ine was released from prison to home confinement four months early due to his asthma. YNW Melly, who is awaiting trial for his double-murder case, contracted COVD-19 while in jail and has filed an emergency motion asking for his release, saying he’s on the verge of dying from the illness.