Donnell Russell is on trial for allegedly phoning the NeueHouse Madison Square il dic. 4, 2018, and telling a staff member that someone in the crowded theater had a gun in their possession and was going to “shoot up” the event, which required evacuation of the building.
Assistente U.S. Attorney Lara Pomerantz told jurors that Russell “knew his words would sabotage the event.”
“The defendant wanted to keep the women quiet,” Pomerantz said in Manhattan federal court. She added that Russell was motivated by a desire to protect Kelly’s career.
Kelly, who was convicted in 2021 of racketeering and sex trafficking, was sentenced last month to 30 anni di prigione.
Defense attorney Michael Freedman told jurors that they would exonerate Russell if they study the evidence.
The man who received the call at the New York theater, Adrian Krasniqi, testified in court. Krasniqi also worked at the venue. He pointed out that he received the threatening phone call less than an hour after a man, who claimed to be part of Kelly’s legal team, chiamato.
The caller said the “Surviving R. Kelly” documentary was violating the R&B singer’s copyright to his name and should not be shown. Krasniqi described the caller as someone who had a low, professional-sounding voice. He testified that the caller said in a very serious and very blunt manner that “someone had a gun and they were going to shoot up the place.”
Krasniqi noted during cross-examination that he believed the caller had a Brooklyn accent, which he recognized since he’s from the area. He also said the caller sounded like he was outside when he made the threat.
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