R. Kelly Chicago trial still set for Aug. 1; judge rejects motion to delay
Kelly’s new attorney, Jennifer Bonjean, said she needs more time to review documents in the case.
Singer R. Kelly’s Chicago trial on charges of child pornography and obstruction of justice appears set for Aug. 1 after his new defense attorney failed to persuade a judge to delay it for three months.
Jennifer Bonjean sought the delay, telling U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber Tuesday in a telephone conference call that there is “an exorbitant amount of material to digest” to prepare for trial. She noted that Kelly is potentially “looking down the barrel of a life sentence.”
In rejecting the request, Leinenweber said: “The problem is, this case has been delayed time and time again. This case is going to have to go to trial.”
Bonjean, the attorney with Chicago roots who helped free actor Bill Cosby, filed a motion earlier this month seeking to dismiss several of the charges pending against Kelly. The singer is charged in Chicago’s federal court with child pornography and obstruction of justice. Leinenweber did not rule on that motion Tuesday.
Kelly is already facing a potential life sentence in federal prison after a jury in Brooklyn convicted him of racketeering. His sentencing there is set for June 15. Bonjean had hoped to delay Kelly’s Brooklyn sentencing until after his Chicago trial, but the Brooklyn judge refused.
For now, Kelly is locked up in a federal detention center in New York.
Leinenweber has previously denied a motion to dismiss an additional obstruction of justice charge also pending against Kelly.