Jussie Smollett Had Brothers Do a 'Dry Run' of 'Attack' to Practice Beforehand: Prosecutor
The former 'Empire' actor made national headlines in 2019 when he said he was the victim of a violent hate crime by two Nigerian brothers who supported then-President Donald Trump. Your browser does not support this video But the two brothers told police the incident was staged, and investigators arrested Smollett shortly after. Smollett has since been charged with six counts of felony disorderly conduct. On Monday, Special Prosecutor Dan Webb told a jury that Smollett devised a "secret plan" with the brothers, who he says were his friends, and gave them supplies to perform a practice run of the attack.
A jury in Chicago found the actor Jussie Smollett guilty on Thursday of falsely reporting to the police that he had been the victim of a racist and homophobic assault in 2019, an attack that investigators concluded was a hoax directed by the actor himself. With its finding , after more than nine hours of deliberation, the 12-person jury indicated it had chosen to believe the accounts of two brothers who testified that Mr. Smollett had asked them to mildly injure him as part of a publicity stunt. Mr. Smollett , wearing a dark gray suit and a blue shirt, sat upright in his chair, hands clasped, staring
Jussie Smollett is guilty of lying to Chicago cops, and the world, about being the victim of a racist and homophobic attack, according to the jury -- or said more simply it was all a hoax. Jurors found the "Empire" actor guilty of 5 of the 6 felony counts against him, and he stood stone-faced in
Now that Jussie ' s been found guilty he'll almost certainly have to pay restitution to Chicago in the amount of 0k -- the amount the city says it dropped on investigating the hoax attack. During the trial , defense attorneys took the calculated risk of having Jussie testify something criminal defendants rarely do.
Former "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett was found guilty Thursday on five counts of felony disorderly conduct for making false reports to police that he was the victim of a hate crime in January 2019. © Charles Rex Arbogast/AP Actor Jussie Smollett (center) returns to the Leighton Criminal Courthouse on Thursday in Chicago, and was found guilty on five of six counts.
His defense team said it will appeal the verdict.
Jurors deliberated over the course of two days following a trial that featured Smollett and his accomplices providing strikingly different testimony over what occurred.
Smollett maintained his innocence on the stand and denied the accounts of Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo, two acquaintances he knew from the television show. Prosecutors pointed to the brothers' testimony and evidence that they were paid by Smollett -- who is Black and gay -- to stage a fake hate crime attack to garner sympathetic media coverage.
EXPLAINER: Jussie Smollett's turn to testify. Will he?
CHICAGO (AP) — After two brothers spent hours telling a jury how Jussie Smollett paid them to carry out a fake racist and anti-gay attack on himself in downtown Chicago, the big question when the actor's trial resumes Monday will be whether or not he will tell his side of the story. Attorneys rarely announce whether or not their clients will take the stand before they actually call them to testify, and Smollett's attorneys have not made their plans public.The reasons why Smollett might want to testify begin with just how bizarre the case is.
Former television actor Jussie Smollett was found guilty Thursday in Chicago on charges stemming from a hate crime he had initially claimed to be the victim of in a controversial case. Three years ago, Smollett , an openly gay Black actor then appearing on the hit musical drama series "Empire," called police alleging that he had been called a homophobic slur and a noose had been placed around his neck by men in the red hats worn by then-President
As Smollett was found guilty on five counts of disorderly conduct for each time he allegedly lied to police, he stood stone-faced in front of the jury.
US actor Jussie Smollett lied to police when he claimed to have been the victim of a racist, homophobic assault, a Chicago jury has found . At trial this week, Smollett , 39, stood by denials that he staged the hoax attack against himself. Prosecutors countered that he "lied for hours" on the stand as he
He faced a total of six charges, each referring to different instances in which he was accused of lying to police. He was found guilty of five of the six charges, meaning that the last one had not been proven in court. At trial , jurors heard from brothers Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo, who said
Smollett told police after the purported attack near downtown Chicago that he was subject to racist and homophobic slurs by two unknown men, who also poured bleach on him and wrapped a noose around his neck. Authorities investigated the claims and determined the actor orchestrated the scheme, and a grand jury indicted Smollett in February of 2020.
While convicted on five of the six charges, Smollett was acquitted on one count of felony disorderly conduct.
The next phases of the case will address Smollett's potential punishment as well as his opportunity to appeal.
A disorderly conduct charge for a false crime report is a Class 4 felony and punishable by up to 3 years in prison and a $25,000 fine. Cook County Judge James Linn will have discretion in imposing a concurrent or consecutive sentence for each of the five counts at a later date.
Jussie Smollett trial: Closing arguments set to begin in case about alleged hoax attack
Closing arguments are set to take place Wednesday in Jussie Smollett's trial, a day after the former "Empire" actor took the stand to rebut allegations that he staged a hoax hate crime and lied to police about it in January 2019. © Kamil Krzaczynski/Reuters Actor Jussie Smollett (C) arrives at court for a hearing in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., July 14, 2021. REUTERS/Kamil Krzaczynski Smollett, 39, has pleaded not guilty to six counts of disorderly conduct on suspicion of making false reports to police. The charge is punishable by up to three years in prison.
According to Fox News reporter Matt Finn, “ Smollett was found not guilty about lying about aggravated battery. That charge was because his attackers were wearing masks.”
The actor faced a total of “six counts of disorderly conduct under a subsection of the law that prohibits false reports to police,” according to NBC Chicago. The charges were listed as class 4 felonies, “which are among the least serious felonies in Illinois,” the report said, adding that possible “convictions can still carry potential prison time of up to three years.”
Smollett was found guilty of five of six counts of disorderly conduct over accusations that he lied to police in Chicago about the alleged hate crime in January 2019. #BREAKING: Jury finds Jussie Smollett GUILTY on 5 counts, and NOT GUILTY on the 6th count.
Smollett was facing a maximum of 18 years in prison ahead of his verdict. However, there’ s a better chance he gets sentenced to probation since he doesn’t have a criminal history. Prosecutors argued that Smollett paid brothers Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo to stage the attack.
CNN legal analyst and criminal defense attorney Joey Jackson said the judge could give Smollett probation yet Smollett "exposed himself to jail time" when he testified in court.
"When you testify in a case, the judge now gets a sense of what you said," Jackson said. "What Jussie Smollett said was resoundingly rejected by that jury. The jury did not buy what he was selling. That's not lost upon a judge. You came into the courtroom and fabricated."
Jackson told CNN's Don Lemon on Thursday that he believes Smollett will face time in prison because he doubled-down on the lie during testimony, required police to use resources during their investigation, and because the hoax itself could undermine victims of actual hate crimes.
"There are people legitimately who were the victims of hate crimes, and how do you diminish them by coming up with something that's a farce? That's troubling and you have to punish that," Jackson said.
Don Lemon Faces 'Ethical Questions' Over Jussie Smollett's Tip-Off Testimony
Don Lemon has come under fire, after Jussie Smollett testified the CNN anchor warned him that police didn't believe his account of his alleged racial attack.Former Empire star Smollett is currently awaiting the jury's verdict, after standing trial amid accusations he orchestrated his own alleged attack by two men in 2019 on the streets of Chicago, during which he stated that a noose was tied around his neck.
Jussie smollett guilty of staging hate crime , lying to cops. The jury found Smollett guilty on the first five counts and not guilty on charge #6 –aggravated battery, wearing a hood or mask to conceal his identity – after a contentious week of witness testimony, counsel arguments and
"Did Don Lemon write this headline?" Washington Free Beacon reporter Chuck Ross asked, alluding to the CNN anchor' s involvement in the Smollett trial when the actor admitted Lemon told him the Chicago police wasn't believing his claims. "CNN offers its distinctive take, which is that the jury found Jussie
"When you're really on trial for telling a lie and then you compound that by actually lying, it makes a judge -- who sits in judgment of you when you're sentenced -- really troubled," he said of Smollett taking the stand.
Defense says they will appeal
Nenye Uche, Smollett's attorney, said he "respectfully disagrees" with the jury's verdict and that the case will be won on appeal.
"He (Smollett) is 100% confident that this will be reversed on appeal," Uche said. "At the end of the day, we believe justice will prevail. We don't believe it was done today but we're very confident that he will be cleared and he will be found to be innocent."
Uche said Smollett was disappointed but that he was hopeful to get a "fair result" in appellate court.
Lawsuit against Smollett is ongoing
The City of Chicago said in a statement Thursday that it "intends to continue to pursue its lawsuit" to hold Smollett accountable.
The city filed the lawsuit in April 2019 after the actor failed to pay a request of $130,106.15 for the police investigation of his report of a hate crime attack, court documents show. Smollett filed a countersuit in November 2020.
Chicago's Department of Law noted in the suit that more than two dozen police officers and detectives spent weeks working on Smollett's case in 2019, resulting in 1,836 overtime hours.
Smollett was given seven days to reimburse the city but the actor's attorneys at the time said the demand was meant to "harass and irreparably injure Mr. Smollett."
The city will continue to "demand that he (Smollett) compensate the City for costs incurred by the Chicago Police Department which took his false claims of harm seriously," the statement said.
Jussie Smollett to be Sued for $130k by City of Chicago Over Hate Crime Hoax .
Actor Smollett was on Thursday found guilty on five out of six counts of disorderly conduct for lying about a racist attack—and he's now facing a bill.On Thursday, a jury found the former Empire star guilty on five out of six counts of disorderly conduct for lying about the 2019 incident, in which he had claimed two men doused him with bleach and tied a noose around his neck while shouting racial and homophobic slurs.