SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – Former American Idol Contestant, Caleb Kennedy, will have to wait a few more days for a judge to come to a decision regarding his bond.
“He shouldn’t have been in jail for this long. He should have gotten a bond at the first bond hearing,” said Ryan Beasley, Caleb Kennedy’s attorney.
The 17-year-old faces a felony driving under the influence resulting in a death charge after troopers said he drove his truck off the road on Feb. 8, hitting 54-year-old Larry Parris on his private driveway. Parris later died from his injuries.
“They are struggling, they really are. They will never ever get to hold and see Larry again; and for them that is incredibly difficult,” said Kimberly Cockrell, Mothers Against Drunk Driving advocate and spokesperson on behalf of the Parris family. “One day this family will get to see their son again and get to hold him. That is not an option for this family (the Parris’).”
On Thursday morning, Kennedy appeared in virtual bond court filled with emotion, along with findings of his toxicology report.
“It’s an unusual case,” said Beasley. “The purpose of today is to get a bond. Here’s a 17-year-old kid with no record, who is not a flight risk.”
In Kennedy’s bond hearing on Feb. 24, the judge delayed the bond decision for a second time. A motion was filed requesting his medical record for further details.
New details during that second bond hearing revealed Kennedy was recently prescribed to double his dose of Prozac. Arrest warrants also showed that Kennedy had marijuana in his system at the time of the crash.
During Thursday’s bond hearing, the Spartanburg County Solicitor said the toxicology report revealed Kennedy had 1.5 ng/mL of THC and 66 ng/mL of prescribed Prozac in his system at the time of the crash.
“The toxicology report shows only trace amounts of THC and according even to the arresting officer, he cannot testify that that is what impaired Caleb,” argued Beasley.
“If you have got anything in your system that can impair you, the last place you need to be is behind the wheel of an automobile,” said Cockrell.
During the hearing, Ryan Beasley, Kennedy’s defense attorney, said they will need experts to determine whether Kennedy was impaired from marijuana or Prozac.
Beasley requested that Kennedy receive a bond stating, “he is not a danger to the community.”
Donna Parris, the wife of Larry Parris, told the judge, “I ask for bond to be denied. He killed my husband.”
After hearing the facts of the case, the fourth judge ruled to delay her decision for one to two days.
Both the Parris family and those defending Caleb Kennedy said they are eager for a ruling, however they stand with the judge’s diligence.
“She wants to take all of that and digest it all before making a final decision,” said Beasley. “She is always very diligent when it comes to that stuff and it’s nothing unusual.”
“We did not know that she was not going to rule from the bench, that is her prerogative though. We accept that, but it’s just another waiting game,” said Cockrell.
Until a decision on bond is made, Kennedy will remain behind bars in the Spartanburg County Detention Center.