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Chicago Man Accused of Threatening R. Kelly’s Prosecutors Pleads Not Guilty in Federal Court

R&B singer R. Kelly leaves the Leighton Criminal Courts Building following a hearing on June 26, 2019 in Chicago. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images.)

R&B singer R. Kelly leaves the Leighton Criminal Courts Building following a hearing on June 26, 2019 in Chicago.

The man accused of threatening to kill or seriously injure the prosecutors who succeeded in convicting singer R. Kelly pleaded not guilty in federal court on Wednesday.

Weeks after Kelly’s racketeering and sex trafficking conviction, Chicago man Christopher Gunn allegedly posted a video on his YouTube account under his nickname “DeBoSki” on Oct. 4, 2021. Prosecutors say that they identified the voice in the footage as Gunn’s.

“I want y’all to get real familiar with this building I’m about to pull up and show to you. …Imma show you exactly where we’re gonna be going,” a voice allegedly warned. “And we’re gonna get real familiar with this building, and this building is gonna get real familiar with the enterprise, also known as Kellz Steppers…. We know who is going to stick to everything that I told you, which is that if Kellz goes down, everybody’s going down.”

The charging documents accuse Gunn of “knowingly and intentionally transmitt[ing] in interstate and foreign commerce communications containing threats to injure the person of another, to wit, threats that would result in the death or seriously bodily injury of [the prosecutors].”

“Kellz,” the R&B singer’s nickname, ultimately received a 30-year sentence for racketeering and sex trafficking offenses stemming from allegations of a decades-long pattern of sexual abuse against minors. He also faces additional child pornography and obstruction charges in the Northern District of Illinois at a trial later this year.

About two minutes into the video, prosecutors said, Gunn displayed a photograph of the Eastern District of New York’s federal courthouse in Cadman Plaza, Brooklyn.

“That’s where they at,” Gunn allegedly said, referring to the prosecutors. “That’s where they work at…We’re going to storm they office. We’re gonna storm they office.”

Prosecutors say that Gunn underlined his point with a scene from the 1991 crime drama Boyz N the Hood.

“In the scene, four males ride in a vehicle. One of the males begins to load a firearm, and one of the males asks to be let out of the vehicle,” a Department of Homeland Security agent summarized in court papers. “The sound of a gunshot being fired can be heard.”

Authorities say that they also found evidence of Gunn’s intense Kelly fandom and anger over the trial on social media.

“For example, on or about April 15, 2022, Gunn narrated a YouTube Live video titled ‘R Kelly Propaganda PT46 (Who is Ann Donnelly & Whats Up with Nature Boy,Cash Out)’ on the ‘DeBoSki Gunn’ YouTube account,” the Department of Homeland Security wrote in an affidavit. “The video includes the hashtags ‘#FreeRKelly,’ ‘#AnnDonelly,’ and ‘#KellzSteppas.'”

U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly presided over Kelly’s case and issued his sentence. The identities of Gunn’s alleged targets are shielded in court papers as “Jane Does,” but Kelly’s prosecutors are a matter of public record.

They are Assistant U.S. Attorneys Elizabeth Geddes, Maria E. Cruz Melendez and Nadia Shihata.

“This case is about a predator,” Melendez thundered during opening statements in Kelly’s criminal case.

She and her prosecutorial peers persuaded a jury that Kelly used a coterie of managers, assistants and runners to recruit victims — then abuse and silence them. Melendez said that Kelly took advantage of his fame to exploit his fans.

“The defendant quickly learned that he could take advantage of his access—and he did,” the prosecutor said, whether it was access to a “girl, a boy, or a young woman.”

During the brief arraignment, Gunn delivered his not guilty plea through his counsel.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Sanket J. Bulsara accepted Gunn’s plea, and the suspect’s first conference has been scheduled for Thursday, July 28.

[image via Scott Olson/Getty Images]

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Law&Crime's managing editor Adam Klasfeld has spent more than a decade on the legal beat. Previously a reporter for Courthouse News, he has appeared as a guest on NewsNation, NBC, MSNBC, CBS's "Inside Edition," BBC, NPR, PBS, Sky News, and other networks. His reporting on the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell was featured on the Starz and Channel 4 documentary "Who Is Ghislaine Maxwell?" He is the host of Law&Crime podcast "Objections: with Adam Klasfeld."