According to a recent report appearing on the Verve Times website, a South Carolina judge has denied bond for a former contestant on television’s “American Idol” for his role in a fatal DUI crash in Spartanburg County.
Court documents show that in February, 17-year-old Caleb Andrew Kennedy drove his pickup truck onto the private property of a 54-year-old man and ran over him.
Master Trooper Mitchell Ridgeway of the South Carolina Highway Patrol said in a statement to the media that the man was standing outside his boat repair shop when Kennedy struck him. The force of the impact sent the victim back into his shop, where his daughter later found him.
Prosecutor Barry Barnette said that Kennedy “literally ran over top of him.”
The victim was transported to an area hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly after his arrival.
Kennedy remained at the scene of the accident and could be heard on a tape of the 911 call following the incident apologizing repeatedly. He told Sheriff’s Deputies that he had been visiting a friend just before the crash and took “a deep draw” from a vaping device. The high school student turned potential country music singer was arrested on suspicion of driving while under the influence of drugs resulting in death.
Kennedy’s defense attorneys had hoped to obtain his release on a $20,000 bond. Circuit Court Judge Grace Gilcrest Knie ruled that Kennedy, who is being tried as an adult, would be denied bond. Judge Knie stated that Kennedy posed a danger to both himself and members of the community; however, she would be willing to reconsider bond for Kennedy in 45 days and after undergoing a psychiatric evaluation.
If convicted of the charges against him, Kennedy could face up to 25 years in prison.