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Judgment reached in Jussie Smollett . trial

4:20 p.m. – The verdict is rendered, according to the chief judge’s spokesman.

A jury in Jussie Smollett’s trial reached a verdict Thursday afternoon on allegations that the former “Empire” actor staged a fake attack on himself, then lied to Chicago police about it that, the court official said. It is expected to be read aloud in court late Thursday.

1:30 pm – After six o’clock, discussions continue

The jurors in the criminal trial of former “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett resumed their deliberations Thursday afternoon, more than six hours after Cook County Judge James Linn instructed them to begin.

Linn repeatedly told the 12 men and women he would have no time limit for deliberation, and there was little sign of Linn or any of the attorneys involved in the case throughout Thursday morning. and early afternoon.

10 am – Continue deliberation

There was no sign of Cook County Judge James Linn or any attorneys as of Thursday morning, though a deputy sheriff told reporters jurors in Jussie Smollett’s trial had continued to deputize. judgment at 9:15 a.m. Thursday.

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CHICAGO – Juries in Jussie Smollett’s trial are expected to resume their deliberations on Thursday over allegations that the former “Empire” actor staged a fake attack on herself, later saying lied to Chicago police about being the victim of an anti-gay, racist crime.

The jury discussed for about two hours on Wednesday after a trial that lasted about a week. They asked Judge James Linn to provide a copy of the prosecutors’ calendars displayed at the trial showing the dates involved, including the date of the alleged assault and what the brothers did. evidenced by an “exhaustion” attack for January 29, 2019.

During Wednesday’s final argument, a prosecutor told jurors there was “overwhelming evidence” that Smollett staged the attack, then lied to police about it to make it public. . His defense attorney said the prosecutors’ case was based on lies.

Last week, two brothers testified that Smollett recruited them to fake the attack near his home in downtown Chicago. They said Smollett, who is black and gay, told them to put a noose around his neck, scream racist and homophobic slurs, and rough him when viewing surveillance cameras.

Smollett testified that he was the victim of a true hate crime, telling jurors that “there was no hoax. “He called the brothers “liars,” and said the $3,500 check he wrote to them was for eating and training plans. His lawyers argued that the brothers attacked the actor because they were gay and that they fabricated the story of the staged assault but said they would not testify against Smollett if he had pay them 1 million dollars each.

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Actor Jussie Smollett, right, leaves Leighton Criminal Court on Wednesday, December 8, 2021, with his mother, Janet, after Cook County Judge James Linn referred the case to a jury in Chicago. (AP Photo / Charles Rex Arbogast)

During his final arguments on Wednesday, special counsel Dan Webb told the jury that Smollett had cost Chicago police a lot of resources investigating what they believed to be criminal spoofs.

“Besides breaking the law, smearing something as serious as a real hate crime and then making sure it involves words and symbols of such historical significance. in our country is completely wrong.” Webb said.

He also accused Smollett of lying to jurors, saying the surveillance video from before the alleged attack and that night contradicted key moments in Smollett’s testimony.

Defense attorney Nenye Uche called the brothers “sophisticated liars” who may have been motivated to attack Smollett because of homophobia or because they wanted to be hired as his bodyguard.

“These people want to make money,” he said.

Webb questioned why Smollett didn’t turn over his cell phone to the police or give them a DNA sample or access to his medical records to help with the investigation. Smollett testified that he did not trust the Chicago police, and that he was concerned about his privacy.

“If he was the actual victim of a crime, he wouldn’t withhold evidence,” Webb said.

Uche called it “nonsense” for the Chicago police to ask Smollett for his DNA when he was still considered the victim of a crime. He noted Smollett later provided DNA to the FBI for its own investigation into the hate mail he received at the “Empire” studio shortly before the alleged assault.

“He’s not hiding anything,” Uche said.

Disruption is a fourth-degree felony with a prison sentence of up to three years, but experts say if Smollett is found guilty he could be placed on probation and ordered to perform community service.

https://kfor.com/news/verdict-reached-in-jussie-smollett-trial/ Judgment reached in Jussie Smollett . trial

Dais Johnston

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