R. Kelly Placed on Suicide Watch After Sex Crimes Conviction, Says Lawyer – Report
R. Kelly was reportedly placed on suicide watch following his sex crimes conviction last month.
According to a report by the Chicago Tribune, published on Wednesday (Oct. 20), one of Kelly’s attorneys, Steve Greenberg, told Chicago U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber during a preliminary hearing yesterday that the U.S. Bureau of Prisons placed the crooner on suicide watch.
It’s a common practice for federal prisons to place recently convicted prisoners under increased monitoring. However, Greenberg did not say whether or not Kelly had expressed any actual desire to harm himself. Nonetheless, the watch has since been lifted.
Additionally, Greenberg told judge Leinenweber that Kelly is looking to change his legal team for his New York case, but Greenberg and his partner Michael Leonard believe they will stay on as lead counsel in Kelly’s Chicago cases.
“I think he’s talking about bringing in new lawyers in New York,” said Greenberg.
Back in June, ABC 7 Chicago reported that Greenberg and Leonard requested to step back from Kelly's case.
On Sept. 27, R. Kelly was found guilty of racketeering and eight violations of sex trafficking charges in a federal court in Brooklyn. The 54-year-old disgraced singer faces between 10 years and life in prison. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for May 4.
Kelly faces another federal trial in Chicago for sex-related charges, including producing child pornography. According to the Tribune, the 13-count indictment, filed in July 2019, alleges that both Kelly and his associates, codefendants Derrel McDavid and Milton “June” Brown, ran a years-long scheme to cover up the abuse of an unnamed minor, identified as "Minor 1," including flying her parents out of the country so they wouldn’t be able to talk to investigators. Prosecutors also alleged that Kelly and his associates paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash to the victim and her family to force them to lie to a grand jury about the abuse she allegedly sustained.
Judge Leinenweber set an Aug. 1, 2022 jury trial date for Kelly and two of his associates. Kelly faces a minimum of 10 years and a maximum of 20 years in federal prison if convicted on the lead charge of producing child pornography.
XXL has reached out to R. Kelly’s attorney and the U.S. Bureau of Prisons for comment.