R. Kelly was a no-show for a status hearing Thursday at the Cook County criminal courthouse in Chicago because he “refused” to leave his jail cell, prosecutors said.
The R&B singer was due to attend the routine pre-trial hearing, which went on in his absence. However, Judge Lawrence Flood wanted to know why the singer was missing, the Chicago Sun Times reported.
Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Jennifer Gonzalez told the court Kelly “refused transport” from federal lockup.
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Defense lawyer Steve Greenberg said that’s “not 100-percent true,” although he did not elaborate.
“I don’t want to discuss matters that I discussed with the U.S. Marshals Service in open court,” Greenberg said. “Suffice it to say, the Marshal Service says that moving Mr. Kelly is a large undertaking.”
Kelly has been in jail since he was arrested July 11 under federal indictments in Illinois and New York. At a July 16 hearing, he was denied bail.
The singer faces a string of charges in the two sex-abuse cases, including kidnapping and running a “racketeering enterprise” organized to “recruit women and girls to engage in illegal sexual activity.” The Grammy winner has pleaded not guilty to the federal charges.
He faces similar state charges in Cook County and Hennepin County, Minnesota. Thursday’s hearing was about Kelly’s bail in cases brought by Cook County prosecutors.
Last month, the Fiesta singer’s crisis manager and publicist described his client — who is illiterate — as a “mess” while he sits in jail.
“He can’t read and write, so he can’t read a book. It’s almost like a jury has already convicted him,” Darrell Johnson said on CBS This Morning.