Throughout the trial, we’ve heard from a myriad of witnesses about R. Kelly’s illicit, illegal, and abusive activities, but we are yet to hear from the defendant himself. This week, the defence took charge of the trial, calling upon individuals that could possibly prove his innocence. In the list of proposed witnesses, the singer’s name was missing. This means the prosecution will not be able to cross-examine the main defendant.
Instead, Kelly’s defence team will be calling a few more witnesses, in addition to the four that testified this week—including an investigator, and a friend of Jerhonda Pace, the very first witness of the trial.
The first to take the stand on Tuesday, 21 September, was Kelly’s ex-accountant John Holder. He said that he had never seen the artist abuse or mistreat anyone, but he did give women bags of cash for shopping sprees after concerts. During cross-examination, the prosecution were quick to dismiss the witness as childlike, after presenting a cartoon drawing Holder made of Kelly’s enterprise. The cartoon depicted a picture of an octopus, in which the head was labelled ‘Robert. S. Kelly CEO.’
Jefferey Meeks, an audio engineer, was the second witness called by Kelly’s team. He had previously worked with various other artists, including Snoop Dog, Rick Ross, and Usher. He, too, vouched for the singer, saying that he never saw any women locked in rooms, or trying to escape his residence. He had worked with Kelly for 15 years.
Despite his stance, prosecutors revealed that, in an interview with federal agents, Meeks did confess that he was relieved to see a girl leaving Kelly’s studio. When asked about the incident, Meeks replied:
I'm not sure. I was a lot of things. Relieved is one.
Nearing the end
The trial is expected to be over in the next couple of days, as Judge Ann. M Donnelly has asked the jury to start discussing their decision by the end of the week.
According to Daily Mail, the judge has also let the defence team know that R. Kelly can take the stand if he wants to, as long as it’s before both the closing statements.