Former U.S. Congressman Mel Reynolds is ready to plead guilty to charges surrounding an alleged failure to file taxes.
"I request to come to court at the earliest time possible to enter my plea of guilty," Reynolds, who is acting as his own attorney, wrote in a filing.
Reynolds is currently in holding at a Kankakee detention center after being arrested at an Atlanta airport in April for failing to appear for a hearing in the case. Reynolds says he is unable to prepare his case due to health issues and his placement in solitary confinement. Reynolds said he is isolated from the general prison population due to death threats connected to the ex-politician's previous work against a gang leader. Due to his solitary confinement, according to Reynolds, he does not have access to a computer and the other tools needed to prepare his defense, saying he has "no other choice" than to plead guilty. The claim could lead the judge to decide against his change-of-plea request as defendants cannot change their pleas under duress.
Reynolds has been charged with four counts of failing to file a tax return, which each carrying a possible one-year prison sentence and $250,000 fine.
A status hearing is scheduled for Reynolds' case on May 19.