SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – Former American Idol contestant, Caleb Kennedy, will remain behind bars following a second bond hearing Thursday morning.
Caleb Kennedy, 17, is accused of felony driving under the influence resulting in death following a crash on Feb. 8.
At the first bond hearing on Feb. 9, Kennedy appeared before a Magistrate Court Judge where no bond was set.
Kennedy appeared for the second time in court where a Circuit Court judge delayed the bond decision for a second time. A motion was filed requesting his medical record for further details.
Earlier this month, prosecutors said Kennedy took a hit of a vape pen after visiting a friend. He later ended up down a private driveway on W. Murph Road.
According to officials, that is where Kennedy hit and killed 54-year-old Larry Parris.
“He did not run out and off the road and strike and kill Larry. He ran out of road, that is what he did and would have probably continued on through that building had that large piece of machinery not stopped him,” said Kimberly Cockrell, MADD victim advocate speaking on behalf of the victim’s family. “Their biggest fear is that he is going to get out and he’s going to do this again to another family.”
On Thursday morning, the Parris family spoke in Kennedy’s second court appearance. Overcome with emotions, they asked the a judge, yet again, to deny bond.
“If I have to relive that everyday for the rest of my life, please explain to me how he even has the opportunity to see the light of day ever again,” said Kelsey, Larry Parris’ daughter. “Him! He did this! He should have to sit there. We request that bond be denied.”
During the virtual court hearing, new details 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.
Kennedy’s defense attorney explained during the virtual court hearing that those chemicals, mixed with his prescribed medication, could have caused an adverse reaction.
“Okay, here’s what I am going to do,” said Judge Miller. “I am going to continue this hearing until you get the blood results and I am going to grant the state’s motion to get the medical records.”
Kennedy’s attorney was extremely upset with Thursday’s ruling.
“Your honor, SLED is so far behind. This could be months and months before we could get back in court and there are much more egregious cases than this on a felony DUI that are given bond. He just barely turned 17 judge,” said Ryan Beasley, defense attorney. “It is unfair to this kid to be sitting in jail for months on a backlog with SLED and the fact that a magistrate judge down in jail didn’t do his job anyway and set a bond. I am just sorry judge, but I am standing up and saying a bond should be set today.”
Kennedy’s defense attorney said until the judge receives the toxicity report from SLED they will not be able to file for another bond hearing.
Although there is no set date for the next bond hearing, Kennedy’s appearance for General Sessions Court is scheduled for April 14 at 9:00 a.m.
As for the family of Larry Parris, they are still working to overcome the tragic loss.
“Every single day they have to walk out and they have to see that shop and that plywood you know, up in from of that door,” said Cockrell. “It is an everyday, constant reminder that he is gone. They are literally living in the crime scene basically and that’s incredibly difficult.”