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R. Kelly associate seeks legal fees after acquittal

Derrel McDavid (left) and singer R. Kelly walk into court during Kelly’s 2008 trial on child pornography charges in Cook County. McDavid, who is charged with the singer in his current federal trial, is expected to take the stand Tuesday. Sun-Times file photo
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CHICAGO (AP) — R. Kelly’s former business manager asked a federal judge to award him $850,000 in attorneys fees after a jury acquitted him during the same trial in Chicago at which the R&B singer was convicted of child pornography charges.

Derrel McDavid’s attorney wrote that deserves to recoup the legal fees after enduring a “frivolous, vexatious and bad faith prosecution over which he prevailed.” Attorney Beau Brindley filed the 18-page request with U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber late Monday, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

A federal jury last month convicted Kelly of producing child pornography and enticing minor girls for sex, but found Kelly and McDavid not guilty of conspiring to rig a 2008 trial in which Kelly was acquitted on state child pornography charges. A third co-defendant, Milton Brown, was acquitted of receiving child pornography.

Such motions are exceedingly rare and do not often succeed, in large part because defendants who are acquitted of criminal charges do not have a right to compensation.

In his motion, Brindley said prosecutors knew the testimony of two key witnesses was “necessarily incoherent.”

“This is, by definition, a reckless disregard for the truth, which constitutes a frivolous and vexatious position by the government,” he wrote. “This entitles Mr. McDavid to reasonable attorney’s fees.”

During the trial, prosecutors maintained there was compelling evidence that McDavid was aware that Kelly was producing child pornography and that he sought for years to conceal evidence of what Kelly was doing.

Brindley said McDavid still owes $600,000 in legal fees and “must now liquidate real property and other assets in an attempt to pay.” Brindley also wrote that he and others spent at least 1,220 hours working on the case and that adds up to about $65,000 less than what a “reasonable market rate” of $750 an hour would cost a client.

Kelly has not yet been sentenced in the Chicago federal case, but he was sentenced earlier this year to 30 years in prison for a federal conviction in New York on racketeering and sex trafficking charges.