The federal New York trial against disgraced R&B singer R. Kelly may be over, but his Chicago trial just got its official start date.
According to WBEZ Chicago, on Wednesday, a federal judge ruled that Kelly will in fact stand trial on obstruction of justice and child pornography charges, along with long-time associates and co-defendants Derrel McDavid and Milton “June” Brown. The trial has an expected start date of August 1, 2022. U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber previously wanted to go to court much sooner but decided against it after learning that one of Kelly’s defense lawyers would be handling other cases through July of next year. Attorneys told Judge Leinenweber they expect the Chicago trial to last “three to four weeks.”
As reported by the Chicago Tribune, Kelly attended the hearing via video conference but did not speak, due to the fact that no one could figure out how to unmute him. (Oh, the irony. Talk about #MuteRKelly. )
Additionally, the Tribune also notes Kelly was placed on suicide watch following his New York conviction, as is standard procedure for recently convicted individuals; the watch has since been lifted, according to one of Kelly’s lawyers Steve Greenburg. Greenburg also explained that the “Ignition” singer is currently in the process of “revamping his legal team” (umm, with what money?) but that he and his partner Michael Leonard will likely stay on as lead counsel for the Chicago cases.
As previously reported by The Root, Kelly was convicted in Brooklyn federal court on all nine counts of racketeering and sex trafficking in violation of the Mann Act. His sentencing is scheduled to be delivered on May 4, 2022. He faces up to life in prison. In addition to the charges in his hometown of Chicago, the entertainer also faces additional charges in Minnesota.