Bystander locked up for allegedly shouting "Free R. Kelly!" to jury.

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triplett
Debra Triplett (supplied)

A woman who allegedly yelled "Free R. Kelly!" at the jury this morning is being held in custody by Judge Gaughan.

Debra Tripplett, 48, of the 1300 block of N. Lake St., Aurora, is charged with being in indirect contempt of court. Gaughan set her bail at $50,000.

She's accused of shouting the slogan twice at the jury as it emerged from an elevator on the fifth floor of the criminal courts building.

The jury was being led to the courtroom when Triplett allegedly made her outburst.

Wearing an oversized white t-shirt and jeans, she was arrested by a sheriff's deputy and brought before the judge this morning, before the trial resumed.

During a brief hearing, Cook County Sheriff's Sgt. London Thomas testified Triplett was in a group of 15-20 bystanders waiting outside the elevators on the fifth floor when the jury emerged.

"I observed a woman shout 'Free R. Kelly!'" Thomas said. "As I approached her her voice dropped off and she said 'Free R. Kelly!' again."

Assistant State's Attorney John Dillon told Gaughan it was clear that Triplett was trying to influence the jury.

Gaughan ordered Triplett to return to court June 25, when he will decide her fate.

But after Triplett was lead back to the cells, Gaughan asked the jurors to raise their hands if they had heard her alleged outburst.

None did.

Triplett has experience of being locked up. Court files show she has record stretching back to 1991, and that she has been sentenced to prison time on at least three occasions for drug possession.

She was sentenced to two years in 1998, one year in 2001 and three years in 2004.

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9 Comments

Oh My god there are criminals doing real crimes like murdering people and killing innocent people and shes in jail for freedom of speech, that's an ammendment right? LET HER GO!!!

i bet old girl was paid so a mistrial would take place. you fouled out kelly!

Come on now is this for real. I'm sure that there is a gang memeber or a rapist or even a murderer could have that spot in jail. What happen to us as a country when we start locking people up for speaking there mind. Correct me if I'm wrong but I thought we had freedom of speech unless things have changed. As much crime that goes on in Chicago I'm sure that you don't have the room to lock someone up for speaking there mind. Some one please send me some info about when it became against the law to use freedom of speech. You have to break the law to go to jail and last time I checked that was not against the law.

i was locked up with miss tripplet and she never said that she was checking on her son in court saw r kelly got excited and said there go r kelly there go r kelly this woman does not have 5000.00 dollars i wonder if theres a way 2 reach r kelly she wont even see the jugde again til june24 one whole month wheres the R. inmate #5798

R Kelly's true colors are becoming more apparent...he will be held accountable for his ugly actions. Give it time and R Kelly will have HIS own inmate number!

You GO Girl!!!
I would have been held in contempt of court with you, because this makes no sense. I was 15 at one point in time and I knew exactly what I was doing when I had sex, she knew what she was doing and who she was doing it with. I don't believe that he did it to the little girl; you know people have a way of using modern technology now-a-days, they could have made that person on that tape anybody. Here he has to face trial because someone has a problem. That is what is wrong with the world today, if the girl says that it wasn't her, it wasn't her. If he says that it wasn't him it wasn't him. What about the mole on the tape, nobody stated their opinion about that.
"If the glove doesn't fit, you must acquit!!!"

Disgusted, I am so tired of hearing women like you defend the fact that R. kelly is a pedophile. Your comment is so common among young, single, ill-informed African-American women who wouldn't hesitate to drop it like it's hot as soon as one of Kelly's woman hating songs comes on. Have you not noticed that ALL of the settlements Kelly paid were to young, black high school girls he had lured into sexual relationships? (If I am correct it would be a total of at least 5)Did you take notice that most of these escapades occured while he was a married man? Did you also know that Kelly's wife could not enter a room that her husband was in, in her own home, without knocking and announcing herself as if she were a guest or worst yet a maid? This man is in no way innocent and you women need to stop feeding off the notion that he is just because he makes good booty shaker/ bedroom music. No one wants to say its them on the video because of the concequences they have to face. For Kelly its 15 years in prison. For the young "lady" a lifetime of humiliation for a mistake she was probably forced into as a child. Or was it a mistake? You yourself said you knew what you were doing when you were sexually active at 15. Who's to say she didn't benefit (which she and her mother certainly did, financially!!)? This is why I don't see her as a "full" victim. Everyone involved in this case from R. Kelly to the "victim" and her family should be held accountable.

And by the way, that woman that got locked up should have been in a different location to shout what she did. Yes, she does have freedom to say what she wants. But, to say it while the jury is present is called jury tampering whether she knew it or not or got paid to do it or not. (Anonymous I agree with your theory because it ain't looking too good for "Kelz" and he's desperate)

Baffled and Disappointed - As "disgusted", I wrote: "R Kelly's true colors are becoming more apparent...he will be held accountable for his ugly actions. Give it time and R Kelly will have HIS own inmate number!"

I second your statement: "Everyone involved in this case from R. Kelly to the "victim" and her family should be held accountable."

WHATEVER HAPPEN TO FREEDOM OF SPEECH

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R. Kelly on trial


The story of the allegations against R. Kelly started here in the Sun-Times. Almost six years later, it's now finally reached a trial.

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This page contains a single entry by Kim Janssen published on May 22, 2008 1:02 PM.

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