Frank James, the 62-year-old man in custody for the April 12 subway shooting in Brooklyn seems to have made a new friend in jail—R. Kelly.
According to the Daily News, their “behind bars bromance” began at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Sunset Park. The disgraced R&B singer is awaiting sentencing after being found guilty in his federal sex trafficking and racketeering case. James, however, is awaiting trial for the mass shooting in which 10 people were wounded.
Alleged jailhouse sources told the news outlet, “Both do get along. They actually sit together and eat together. They talk about TV shows. They go out to rec together. They’re buds.” Both men are considered to be “high-risk inmates,” but Kelly remains in an isolated cell while James has a bunkmate.
The rumored sources shared that Kelly holds his own mini-concerts while behind bars. At one point, he entertained fellow inmates with an a cappella performance of “I Believe I Can Fly,” and often performs as if he’s back on tour.
The 55-year-old’s lawyer, Jennifer Bonjean, spoke on the singer’s newfound friendship with James. “Mr. Kelly is not in control of who he is housed with. A friend is someone you voluntarily hang out with.” Previously, Kelly befriended his only cellmate, Brendan Hunt of Queens, N.Y., who was convicted last year after threatening to murder members of Congress. Hunt memorialized their friendship in a comic strip.
James’ charges include committing a terrorist attack or other violence against a mass transportation system and discharging a firearm during a violent crime. He allegedly set off a smoke canister and fired nearly three dozen shots on the crowded Manhattan-bound N train as it approached the 36th Street station. Both counts carry a maximum sentence of life in prison and he is due back in court on July 25. A motive for the attack remains unclear.
Kelly will be sentenced on June 15 and is facing a mandatory minimum of 10 years to life in prison.