Chicago-area reporter and author Natalie Y. Moore is one of only a few reporters able to give an account of proceedings from inside the R. Kelly child pornography trial. She stepped out of the courtroom this afternoon to brief ESSENCE on jury selection
A cornrowed R. Kelly kept his head down during most of a second day as the judge questioned jurors. He sometimes looked stoic as he sat with his high-profile attorneys.
A mystery woman who sat in the back of the courtroom yesterday returned today while Kelly was in the jury room. I had seen the woman in the courtroom before, sporting a ponytail and carrying a Bible. I have a strong feeling she and Kelly know each other, but I didn't dare approach her because the court decorum prohibits reporters from conducting interviews. Earlier today a reporter was kicked out for approaching someone. The rules inside are strict. Outside the courtroom, the large crowds of fans and protestors that had cheered and glared at Kelly on Friday were not around today.
Jury selection continued, with one potential juror stating that he was giving plenty of thought to child pornography. He said, “Sometimes the age difference can get muddy when it comes to what's right or wrong, like when they are in love.” He later wrote in a jury questionnaire: “I assumed he is guilty or why would the state bother.” That same juror promised he could be fair to both sides.
Things were moving fast today. Attorneys chose three jurors yesterday and went through more than six today. Stay tuned.
Moore is a reporter for Chicago public radio and coauthor of the popular book Deconstructing Tyrone: A New Look at Black Masculinity in the Hip-Hop Generation. She also wrote the profile on Kelly’s wife, Andrea. The story appeared in the June 2007 issue.
Credit: AP Images
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