An associate of R.Kelly’s has been sentenced to eight years in prison for witness intimidation in connection to the singer’s sex crime and racketeering case.
According to the Chicago Tribune, The United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York officially sentenced Michael Williams on Wednesday (Nov. 17). The 38-year-old Georgia resident pleaded guilty to an arson charge about seven months ago and admitted to traveling to the home of one the disgraced R&B artist’s accusers in June 2020, setting her vehicle on fire that was parked outside her Florida residence.
Williams’ plea agreement with prosecutors note that he committed the crime to intimidate, “with the intent to prevent her from cooperating with the government’s investigation, and as a result, significantly interfering with the case against Kelly.”
The victim identified only as Jane Doe, was not in court Wednesday but prosecutors read a statement on her behalf.
“My mental state deteriorated tremendously due to fear, invasion of privacy, and trauma among many other things,” the statement read. “Because of your actions, I live in fear and have had to relocate my entire life.”
Court records show that the victim’s mother was in the home during the incident with two of her grandchildren and recalled hearing an explosion and noticing someone running from the scene “whose arm appeared to be lit on fire.”
Williams was arrested with a loaded 9mm handgun with an obliterated serial number in August 2020 at the Pompano Beach Hotel in Florida.
“Mr. Williams made mistakes, feels remorse for his actions and is eager to close this chapter of his life,” Todd Spodek, Williams’ lawyer wrote in his sentencing memo earlier this month.
Two other men, Richard Arline Jr. and Donnell Russell, were also charged in federal court in New York last summer with attempting to intimidate, harass or pay off alleged victims in the R. Kelly case.
According to CBS News, Kelly was found guilty on all nine counts of racketeering and sex trafficking in the high-profile case, which featured hours of graphic testimony from the singer’s accusers and eyewitnesses to his behavior.
Kelly is expected to be sentenced on May 4, 2022 after a Brooklyn, N.Y. He is facing 10 years to life imprisonment.