R Kelly verdict: R&B singer found guilty on 6 counts; co-defendants not guilty in Chicago trial

R Kelly case: R&B singer charged with trial-fixing, child pornography and enticing minors for sex

ByLeah Hope via WLS logo
Wednesday, September 14, 2022
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What did R Kelly do? The former singer is charged with trial-fixing, child pornography and enticing minors for sex.

CHICAGO, Illinois -- The jury has reached a verdict Wednesday in R. Kelly's federal Chicago trial.

The R&B singer was found guilty on three counts of child pornography and three counts of enticing a minor.

Kelly's co-defendants, his former business manager Derrel McDavid and former employee Milton Brown, were found not guilty.

This is a developing story that will be updated as more information becomes available.

Attorneys for R Kelly and his co-defendant came to court briefly when the jurors had questions Wednesday. In the courtroom, they reviewed the questions with the Judge.

The jury had a number of questions for attorneys, including one about a piece of evidence, a college application from a Kelly accuser; if there were records for a Westin hotel stay in 1999 and 2000; and clarity on language of whether Kelly "persuaded, induced, enticed and/or coerced minors."

The judge said the application was not admitted into evidence.

Prosecutors responded, saying there were no records of those hotel stays.

They're also working to clarify whether the charging documents stated "or coerced" or "and coerced" minors, meaning they would have to prove that, as well.

Jurors will need to weigh 13 charges against the three defendants as they debate whether R. Kelly will serve more time in federal prison on child pornography charges dating back decades.

WATCH: Legal analyst weighs in on R Kelly trial

The disgraced singer, once a music industry icon, is on trial with two men intertwined with Kelly's career, including his former business manager, Derrel McDavid, and former employee, Milton Brown.

"Derrel McDavid is not guilty, and that is the right answer," defense attorney Beau Brindley said. "And we feel very confident that the jury will reach that answer."

Jurors heard nine hours of closing arguments in the fifth week of this trial. Kelly is accused of creating child pornography, and all three men are accused of trying to hide sex videos of Kelly with minors and silence witnesses during Kelly's Cook County prosecution in 2008.

Jennifer Bonjean, Kelly's attorney, argued Tuesday: "This man did some beautiful things with his music. And he should not be stripped of every bit of humanity... I ask more importantly and to remember each count counts and take the time you need...Mr. Kelly deserves it no matter what you think of him."

Federal prosecutors had the final say, arguing that the activities of the three were conspiracy to thwart criminal prosecution.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeannice Appenteng told the jury: "That case was fixed because Kelly, McDavid and others caused Jane and her family to lie to the grand jury."

She concluded: "Find Robert Kelly guilty of sexually abusing these young women....Find Mr. McDavid and Mr. Brown guilty for agreeing with Kelly to cover up the videos."

ALSO SEE: Nearly $28K taken from R. Kelly's inmate commissary account for restitution in New York conviction

Bonjean also spoke about the challenges of public opinion, ahead of the trial's start Tuesday.

"I do think it has come into focus how much Mr. Kelly has been prejudiced having a joint trial," she said.

Kelly's attorney argued for hours that federal prosecutors did not prove their case and that their evidence is flawed based on testimony from liars and extortionists.

SEE MORE: R. Kelly trial: Defense for singer, co-defendants rest; prosecution rebuttal to begin next week

Kelly was already sentenced to 30 years in prison, after he was convicted in a separate case in New York. Now he faces more years in prison in his federal trial in Chicago.

A key witness for the government is a woman who calls herself Jane and identified herself in videos with Kelly when she was 14 years old.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Pozolo argued Monday, "He took advantage of his position, his fame and her youth. He took advantage for his own pleasure."

SEE MORE: R. Kelly jury views graphic videos of alleged sexual encounters with a minor

Pozolo went on to argue that the three - Kelly, his former business manager and former assistant - conspired to conceal evidence and thwart criminal prosecution in Cook County when the video of Jane became public.

"Kelly and his team did their best to cover up the fact that this R&B star R Kelly is a sexual predator," Pozolo said.

RELATED: Nearly $28K taken from R. Kelly's inmate commissary account for restitution in New York conviction

Prosecutor Pozolo concluded her argument, saying, "Robert Kelly manipulated girls over many years, and he committed horrible crimes against children. And he didn't do it alone."

Each defendant's attorney made a closing argument, too.

The attorney for Derrel McDavid - Kelly's former business manager - argued those who testified about McDavid's involvement in any conspiracy lied before and during the trial.

"Don't give into guilt by association because that's all the government has," Beau Brindley, McDavid's attorney, told jurors.

Additionally, Brindley argued McDavid believed Kelly's goddaughter, who was 14 years old at the time, was not the girl in the sex tape.

"The information he had then is different than what he has now," Brindley said.

Mary Judge, the attorney for Kelly's former assistant, Milton Brown, argued that Brown was not part of any conspiracy, saying, "It proved he was doing his job and that is all it proves."

ABC7 Legal Analyst Gil Soffer weighed in on when the verdict could come down.

"Well there's an old rule of thumb in a federal courthouse here, and that is one day of deliberations for each day of trial. That would be some number of days. I think it'll be fewer than that ultimately, but they will take the time that they need. I think we're looking at another day," he said.