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R&B singer R. Kelly was sentenced to 30 years behind bars on Wednesday in a New York court after being convicted of racketeering and sex trafficking.
His lawyers had originally argued for a 10-year-sentence, citing his traumatic childhood. Prosecutors pushed for a 25-year sentence in the six-week trial.
The singer is now expected to stand trial in Chicago next month where he is still facing child pornography and obstruction-of-justice charges along with two other state cases. With the possibility of Kelly losing his upcoming trials, one of Kelly’s lawyers not involved in his New York case has said Kelly could pursue a plea deal.
Kelly’s Chicago federal trial is slated for August 15 and is expected to garner interest with so many of his accusers living in the city. He will stand trial with two other co-defendants on charges they fixed his 2008 child pornography trial. Kelly was acquitted in this case.
R. KELLY SENTENCED TO 30 YEARS IN PRISON FOLLOWING SEX TRAFFICKING CONVICTION
His two state cases are set in Illinois and Minnesota with no concrete trial dates announced yet. Kelly faces multiple sex abuse counts as well as a solicitation charge between the two trials.
Following his New York trial, longtime Kelly lawyer Steve Greenberg said there is a higher likelihood Kelly seeks a plea deal in his Chicago trial, according to the AP. Kelly’s lead attorney in federal cases has previously said Kelly will appeal his New York convictions.
If Kelly loses his Chicago trial, he could be ordered to serve his sentence immediately after the New York sentence. Kelly is now posed the question of possibly winning his Chicago case or accepting a plea deal, leading to more jail time.
Phil Turner, a former federal prosecutor in Chicago with no connection to Kelly, has stated he expects prosecutors to ask for a consecutive sentence. However, he believes the judge will most likely issue a concurrent sentence.
Turner said in the AP Kelly’s attorneys would only be open to a plea deal if the sentence is lower than 30 years. Prosecutors, on the other hand, could potentially agree to a plea deal under the condition Kelly takes responsibility for the crimes. If a plea deal is agreed upon, Kelly’s lawyers would be able to turn their attention to their New York appeal.
R. KELLY TIMELINE: SHINING STAR TO CONVICTED SEX TRAFFICKER
The chances of prosecutors dropping the cases against Kelly are slim.
“They want this guy badly,” Turner said in the AP.
Turner said there is a chance Kelly could go free if prosecutors decide to drop his Chicago cases and the New York convictions are overturned. However, due to the unlimited resources available to U.S. attorney’s offices, the possibilities of them dropping cases are few.
Kelly’s final option could be to plead guilty in all his remaining cases, ending all trials for good. However, Kelly would not be assured prosecutors won’t seek the highest sentence possible.
Fox News reached out to Kelly’s lawyer but did not immediately hear back.
The Associated Press contributed this report.
Source: Fox News