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R. Kelly fan freed from jail

June 25, 2008 3:11:35 PM PDT
One of singer R. Kelly's most vocal fans is out of jail. She had been behind bars for more than a month after shouting "Free R. Kelly" near jurors in a hallway during the singer's recent trial. The judge ordered her jailed for the outburst. Since she couldn't post bond, she's been there ever since. ABC7's Ben Bradley caught up to the fan Wednesday and she had some choice words for her favorite singer.

In the six years between his arrest and acquittal, R. Kelly spent just one night in jail. Debra Triplett spent 34 days there. She watched on the news as jurors found Kelly not guilty. Any minute, she thought, guards would come and tell her she could go home. It didn't quite work out that way.

"If I knew I was going to get locked up, I would never have said that," said Triplett.

Thirty-four days behind barbed wire and bars gives you time to think. Turns out, giving R. Kelly a "shout out" with jurors nearby wasn't such a bright idea.

"This was the R. Kelly jury, and I was like, 'Free R. Kelly,' because I'm just being a fan. Who knows I was going to get locked up?" said Triplett.

Judge Vincent Gaughan ran a no-nonsense courtroom during the Kelly trial. And that applied to the hallway outside where Debra Triplett conceded Wednesdaythat she did shout -- not once, but twice -- "Free R. Kelly."

Wednesday, a week-and-a-half after the verdict, and more than a month after Triplett went to jail, Judge Gaughan accepted an apology from the 48-year-old woman.

"That outburst in the hallway, thank God it didn't affect the trial, but it could have. You could have deprived the state or Mr. Kelly of a fair trial," Judge Gaughan told Triplett before ordering her release.

There is one thing that bothers this fairly free-spirited grandmother of six -- not to mention her husband, who had to care for the grandkids while she was away.

"R. Kelly, I thought should have helped her out, post bond. He didn't have to, but she was up there to see him. She's a fan of his. She said 'Free R. Kelly.' He's got the money, pay the $5,000," said Charles Triplett, jailed R. Kelly fan's husband.

"Yeah, if he didn't bail me out, send me a message or something, 'Thank you, goodbye,' something! Let me know he's there for me like I was for him," said Triplett.

You might think this whole experience would sour Triplett's crush on Kelly. You'd be mistaken.

"This is the world's worstest, worstest, worstest reason to go to jail for sure. But I'm still going to be an R. Kelly fan. I'm not gonna say I love him, I don't love him, but I'm still a fan," Triplett said.

Kelly's attorney says the singer asked about helping Triplett after watching the judge order her to jail, but lawyers advised him it wouldn't look right.


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