AceShowbiz - R. Kelly might need to delay his sex trafficking and racketeering trial. After the disgraced singer got extradited to New York City from Chicago, he was reportedly placed in a mandatory jail quarantine. It prompted his attorneys to seek postponement of the trial.
On Monday, July 5, lawyer Deveraux Cannick sent a letter to the U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly in which the lawyer noted that Kelly's 14-day quarantine will end on Tuesday, July 6. However, Cannick argued that the quarantine has exacerbated what Cannick said was a "herculean effort" to get up to speed after their June 21 hiring.
Cannick claimed Kelly has yet to meet his new lawyers in person due to the restriction. Cannick also argued that proceeding with his trial as scheduled would make his representation less effective and meaningful.
Cannick insisted in the letter that his plea is not a tactic. "[Kelly] is anxious to have his day in court; however not at the expense of his Sixth Amendment rights," the attorney pointed out.
Cannick additionally explained that Kelly and his lawyers will be forced to jockey for a conference room at the Brooklyn jail once his quarantine ends. Cannick said, "The nature of the evidence here does not lend itself to open frank discussions in such an environment."
Kelly himself was moved to the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn on June 22. The crooner, who has been jailed since 2019 on charges of sexual exploitation of a child, racketeering, kidnapping and forced labor and bribery, was previously held in a federal lockup in Chicago.
Jail quarantine was not the only setback for Kelly ahead of his trial. In early June, his previous lawyers Steve Greenberg and Michael Leonard decided to quit his case due to disagreements with other members of the R&B star's legal team.
"While we recognise that this request comes close to trial - and we are ready to proceed to trial as scheduled in August - our reasons for withdrawal are significant and it is impossible, in our belief, for us to be able to continue to properly represent Mr. Kelly under the current circumstances," Greenberg penned in a letter to the judge. "The government was advised of our position and reasons in a phone call."