AMERICAN Idol star Caleb Kennedy’s lawyer claimed the singer was given no bond in a fatal DUI crash due to his “celebrity status.”
Attorney Ryan Beasley exclusively spoke with The Sun to defend the 17-year-old star who crashed into a building on Tuesday afternoon, killing victim Larry Parris.
After meeting up with a friend at a local Walmart in Spartanburg, South Carolina, Caleb ended up driving down a 175-foot private driveway occupied by only two homes before crashing into the victim.
Beasley exclusively shared with The Sun: “[Caleb] has no recollection of why this happened or why he was there.
“[The accident] was around lunchtime and he was going to visit his girlfriend. There’s no indication that he was out drinking or partying.”
He continued: “I mean, this all sounds like a freak accident or an overreaction to some chemical imbalance or medication, we don’t know.
“But we’re going to get to the bottom of it.”
After Caleb was arrested for the fatal DUI crash, he had his first magistrate court hearing last week after being held in the Spartanburg County Detention Center.
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Beasley commented: “The prosecutor is definitely treating this case differently compared to other felony DUIs with death that involve alcohol, and I suspect that is because of Caleb’s celebrity status as an American Idol.
“Because otherwise, I would have never seen all of this involvement by the prosecutor in objection to a bond on a kid like this.”
Solicitor Barry Barnette denied Caleb a bond during his hearing, as reports came in that Caleb was driving under the influence of marijuana and other prescribed medication.
Beasley claimed: “I can say the solicitor has no clue whether marijuana was involved or not.”
The test results are expected back within the “next few months.”
Beasley has hopes to overturn the decision to deny Caleb bond.
He said: “A court date will be happening sooner than April 14, most likely over the week of February 21.”
Beasley revealed: “[Caleb’s] plan is to assist with trying to figure out what happened and do whatever he can to help the Parris family going forward.”
He continued: “[Caleb’s] devastated. Obviously, he’s a kid.
“It’s worth noting that when law enforcement and paramedics got [to the scene of the accident] he was holding the victim in his arms and crying.”
The police report obtained exclusively by The Sun alleged the horrifying details of the fatal crash, as Larry “had broken legs and couldn’t breathe” after Caleb ran him over.
On Tuesday, February 8 at around 12:30 PM, victim Larry Parris’ daughter called 911 to report her father had been hit by a car before it crashed into his work building.
Before the crash, Caleb was meeting a friend at a Walmart where he took a hit of a vape pen, local outlets reported.
He then drove down a private drive, which included the property of the Parris’ home.
Larry was outside and was pushed into the building upon impact during the shocking crash.
According to details from the 911 call obtained by The Sun, Larry’s daughter reported the “truck just ran off the road and went through her dad’s shop.”
The report read she was “hysterical and said her dad was working when the truck went through it.”
The call continued: “Male is saying he can’t breathe and both legs appear to be broke, he is holding his shoulder.”
The car was “not on top of him” although the vehicle did “run him completely over.”
The father-of-one was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.
A Mexican restaurant in Spartanburg where Larry was a regular at posted a tribute in his memory as the community grieves.
They posted a photo of him smiling, enjoying an afternoon in a backyard.
The post was captioned: “This evening we are reaching out to the Larry Parris family.
“We can’t express how much we appreciated his smile and great attitude every time he visited.”
The post continued: “Even though his life was cut short, he made an impact on all of us here. May he rest in peace!”
Caleb was a contestant on American Idol in 2020, but was dismissed mid-season after a video emerged of him posing with a friend in a Ku Klux Klan-style white hood.
While his mother Anita Guy explained the footage was from when her son was 12-years-old, the singer told his social media followers that the video “displayed actions that were not meant to be taken in that way.”
The former fan favorite later admitted he was unprepared for life in the limelight.
On appearing on American Idol, he told Spartanburg Herald Journal: “You think it’s all going to be fun, and a lot of it is, but it will slap you in the face really quickly. I wasn’t ready for it.”
Caleb added: “There’s no way to emotionally prepare for Idol. Because no one is ready for it, no matter how you prepare.
“But I don’t regret it, and I did love it.”
The teen went on to say how he’d been changed by the experience.
“On Idol, that wasn’t me,” he revealed. “That world is so different.
“Now that I’m home, I try to be me, but I’m also scared of someone videoing me when I go to Academy or Wal-Mart.”
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