Former ‘American Idol’ Contestant Caleb Kennedy Denied Bond After Emotional Court Hearing
Former American Idol contestant Caleb Kennedy will remain in custody while awaiting trial for his felony DUI case, news station WYFF in Greenville, South Carolina reports. The singer is being charged after a Feb. 8 crash left a Spartanburg, S.C., man dead.
Kennedy appeared in court on Thursday (March 10) for the emergency bond hearing, requesting for the third time to be released until his trial date.
On the night of the incident, the 17-year-old singer was allegedly driving his truck under the influence when he struck 54-year-old Larry Parris — who was standing in the driveway of his own property — before crashing into a building. Parris died three hours after the accident. Parris’ wife, Donna Parris, and daughter, Kelsi Harvell, attended the hearing to testify against granting Kennedy bond.
"The only reason we are here is because this man made a conscious decision to put something into his body and then got into a vehicle knowing he didn't need to be driving and came down a dead-end road and came into my driveway," Donna Parris remarked, before describing the scene she witnessed following the crash.
“I even asked [Kennedy] what happened, and all he could do was look at me with a blank stare and say, ‘I don’t know,’” she added. “He killed my husband, and I don’t think he should be allowed to get out and take a chance of doing that to somebody else.”
Harvell also spoke, sharing that she still relives the memories of the accident and her father’s death. "Judge, I have to relive that day, every day, for the rest of my life," she said in court. "Please explain to me how he has the opportunity to go home."
Kennedy’s attorney, Ryan Beasley, filed a motion for the emergency hearing after submitting a medical record that reportedly showed marijuana, but no alcohol, in Kennedy’s system at the time of the crash. Beasley added that Kennedy was also on prescription medication at the time and that a "reaction" might have occurred.
Circuit Court Judge Daniel Hall denied the bond request, citing that standards from a previous hearing, i.e. receipt of Kennedy's full toxicology report, had not been met.
Kennedy appeared in court wearing a yellow jumpsuit, signifying that he is currently on suicide watch. Beasley also revealed that Kennedy is on Prozac and suffering from symptoms of that medication, such as blacking out and dizziness.
“His family, they are obviously worried,” the attorney said.
Kennedy competed on American Idol in 2021 and made it to the Top 5 before a video surfaced showing him sitting next to someone wearing a hood similar to those worn by Ku Klux Klan members. He left the show following the controversy.