‘American Idol’ Alum Caleb Kennedy Denied Bond for a Fourth Time After Fatal DUI Crash

by Taylor Cunningham
(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

After requesting bond for the fourth time, American Idol alumn Caleb Kennedy remains behind bars pending the results of a psychiatric evaluation.

The 17-year-old was initially jailed at the Spartanburg County Detention Center on February 8th after he killed 54-year-old Larry Parris while driving under the influence.

According to Fox News 7, Kennedy was operating a vehicle that collided with a workshop just south of Pacolet, South Carolina. Parris was inside the building at the time and suffered fatal injuries. The victim died three hours later at a local hospital.

Pacolet Fire District Chief Heath Brown told the outlet that the accident was unusual on all accounts.

“We don’t have many responses in this area,” he said. “I’ve been in this business 20 years. And this is one of the most unique instances I’ve ever been on with a car versus a building.”

After investigating, the South Carolina Highway Patrol charged Caleb Kennedy with felony driving under the influence resulting in death.

‘American Idol’s’ Caleb Kennedy Denied Bail For Presenting a Danger to Himself and the Community

Because of the circumstances surrounding the incident, Judge Grace Knie jailed the teenager without bond. Kennedy has since gone before the judge four times asking for her reconsideration. The court delayed two attempts while it waited for a toxicology report and Kennedy’s medical records.

Then during a hearing on April 28th, the Spartanburg County Solicitor told the court that the toxicology report proved that Kennedy had 1.5 ng/mL of THC and 66 ng/mL of prescribed Prozac in his system on the night of the accident.

With that news, Judge Knie once again denied the bond request saying that Kennedy presents a danger to both himself and to the community.

Furthermore, Knie ordered that Kennedy submit to a psychiatric evaluation within 45 days. Once the results are in, the judge will revisit the request.

Kennedy Competed on Season 19 of ‘American Idol’

Caleb Kennedy was a contestant on American Idol during last year’s season 19 competition. As soon as he auditioned, his twangy music made him the favored winner of the year. And he made it as far as the top five.

But before he could go any further, fans unearthed a controversial Snapchat video. In it, the teenager and his friends were wearing hoods similar to the KKK. And because of that, he voluntarily withdrew himself from the competition.

“Hey y’all, this is gonna be a bit of a surprise,” he announced on social media. “But I am no longer gonna be on American Idol. There was a video that surfaced on the internet and it displayed actions that were not meant to be taken in that way. I was younger and did not think about the actions, but that’s not an excuse.”