R. Kelly fails to appear in court for status hearing

CHICAGO — R. Kelly did not show up in court for a status hearing Thursday and that frustrated the judge as he considers whether to raise the singer's bond.

Cook County Judge Lawrence Flood demanded to know why the U.S. Marshals Service failed to transport R. Kelly, who faces a variety of sex abuse charges, to the status hearing.

"I don't know what the issue with the Marshals as far as bringing him over here," Flood said. "He's in custody. We have sheriffs here."

Flood said he'll proceed toward a trial despite three new cases being brought against Kelly.

He noted Thursday at a status hearing that a federal case in Chicago, one in New York and a Minnesota case have all been brought since July. Kelly has denied any wrongdoing.

Flood asked attorneys if there's agreement about which of the four cases should proceed first. When a prosecutor said that hadn't been decided, Flood said he'd proceed for now as if no other cases existed.

The multiple cases complicate moving Kelly from a downtown Chicago jail to different hearings. A defense lawyer said Kelly didn't appear Thursday because of transportation issues.

Flood said he wanted Kelly at his next status hearing, set for Sept. 17.

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