R. Kelly’s lawyers want to put inmate who confessed to attacking him on the witness stand
The attorneys for the R&B singer want to determine if any jail employees are at fault for the assault as they continue their efforts to spring Kelly from behind bars before trial.
R. Kelly’s lawyers want to put the inmate who identified himself this week as the singer’s jailhouse attacker on the witness stand in a hearing to determine whether anyone at the Chicago Metropolitan Correctional Center played a role in Kelly’s assault.
Kelly’s lawyers made their request to U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber Friday, one day after the Chicago Sun-Times first reported that Jeremiah Shane Farmer had claimed in court records to be the inmate who attacked Kelly.
Specially, Kelly lawyer Mike Leonard pointed to a claim by Farmer that a mental health professional at the jail told him, “You don’t want to assault Kelly, if you did, you would have done it.” Farmer wrote in his court filing that he “said some disrespect back” and was told “go do it then.” That’s when he said he stormed out and attacked Kelly despite being told to stop.
“Enough is enough,” Leonard wrote. “Now, the allegations are that . . . those housing (Kelly) may be involved in putting him at risk of death or physical harm.”
Kelly’s lawyers have been trying for months to get him out of jail while he awaits trial on federal charges in Chicago and Brooklyn. Earlier Friday, another Kelly lawyer argued for the singer’s release before the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, which took his request under advisement.
Farmer, 39, is a Latin King street gang member convicted of a racketeering conspiracy last year involving two 1999 Northwest Indiana murders. He wrote in a six-page document filed Tuesday with the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that “the government made me attack” Kelly and that he did so “in hopes of getting spotlight attention and world news notice to shed light on” alleged government corruption involving his case.
His filing included a one-page Bureau of Prisons incident report about the attack on Kelly. It says the attack happened about 9:45 a.m. on Aug. 26. It said a prison employee had been trying to meet with Farmer at that time. The employee wrote that Farmer “left the office against my order to stay.” The prison employee followed as Farmer entered a section of the jail to which he had not been assigned, then heard a disturbance coming from a cell, according to the report.
When a unit officer opened the door, the report said the prison employee spotted Farmer “who appeared to be on top of” Kelly “on the lower bunk in the cell.”
“Inmate Farmer appeared to be punching inmate Kelly repeatedly in the head and torso,” the prison employee wrote.
The prison employee used pepper spray to end the assault, the report said. Farmer wrote in his court filing that he wound up in the MCC’s solitary housing unit following the attack.