Prosecutors requested the bond denial, citing a toxicology analysis that revealed Kennedy had marijuana and Prozac in his system at the time of the accident.
Caleb Kennedy, a country artist, will remain in jail following his arrest in February on a charge of driving under the influence resulting in death. Kennedy is accused of driving his truck up a private road in Spartanburg County and colliding with Larry Duane Parris, 54, who was then thrown into a structure.
Kennedy would be a risk to himself and the community if he were freed from prison, according to Circuit Judge Grace Gilchrist Knie. According to press reports, Knie said she would reconsider Kennedy’s bond after a psychiatric evaluation in 45 days.
Prosecutors asked for the bond denial at a hearing on Thursday, citing a toxicology result that showed Kennedy had marijuana and Prozac in his system at the time of the crash.
According to the Spartanburg Herald-Journal, Kennedy’s attorney, Ryan Beasley, had requested the judge to establish a $20,000 bond, citing Kennedy’s sorrow and cooperation with law enforcement.
Beasley expressed his disappointment with the judge’s ruling to news outlets.
“The mental health of a 17-year-old is considerably better at home than in a jail,” Beasley added.
Beasley previously stated that his client was put on suicide watch at the jail.
Last year, Kennedy made it to the top five of the television talent programme, but he had to withdraw from the singing competition after a video surfaced of him sitting next to someone wearing a Ku Klux Klan hood. “It depicted acts that were not meant to be taken in that way,” Kennedy said at the time, apologising for the video.
Kennedy’s mother, Anita Guy, told news outlets that the video was taken out of context and was shot when Kennedy was 12 years old. Kennedy, she claimed, was emulating characters from the movie The Strangers: Prey at Night.
Kennedy was born in Roebuck, South Carolina, which is just south of Spartanburg.