June 10, 2021
(Reuters) – R. Kelly told federal judges Wednesday that he had fired two defendant lawyers and exposed a deep rift in the singer’s statutory lawyer prior to the August sexual abuse trial in New York. It was.
Kelly confirmed to Judge Ann Donnelly of the US District Court in Brooklyn that he had dismissed Steve Greenberg and Michael Leonard, leaving two defense lawyers behind.
“Is that your wish?” Donnelly asked Kelly at a telephone hearing.
“Of course, yes, it’s your honor,” he replied.
Kelly’s remaining lawyers, Thomas Farinella and Nicole Becker, said they would continue to prepare for the upcoming August 9 trial.
The hearing briefly included Greenberg’s claim that an unidentified member of the defense team “documented mental health issues” and “cannot cope with stress.”
Donnelly asked Greenberg and Leonard to explain in writing why they withdrew. She also said she would not postpone the trial originally scheduled for May 2020.
Farinella and Becker were not immediately asked for comment.
Known for hits such as “I Believe I Can Fly” and “Bump N’Grind,” Kelly, 54, has been sexually abused more than 20 years ago, including the January 2019 lifelong documentary “Surviving R. Kelly.” Faced with allegations.
The Grammy-winning singer has been acquitted of all criminal charges in proceedings in New York, Illinois, and Minnesota and has been detained for nearly two years without bail.
Brooklyn prosecutors have accused Kelly of implementing a criminal program to recruit women and underage girls for sexual activity.
The Chicago case includes accusations that Kelly had sex with five minors and used threats to keep the victims quiet.
According to court records, the trial is scheduled for September, but the judge urged both sides to propose a new date.
(Report by Tom Hulce in Wilmington, Delaware, additional report by Jonathan Stempel in New York, edited by Jonathan Oatis)
Singer R. Kelly tells the judge that he has fired two defense lawyers as a loom for the trial.
Source link Singer R. Kelly tells the judge that he has fired two defense lawyers as a loom for the trial.