October 27, 2021

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Jury Choice in Jussie Smollett Case to Begin in November

Jury Selection in Jussie Smollett Case to Start in November

CHICAGO — Jury choice within the trial of the actor Jussie Smollett will start Nov. 29, a Cook dinner County decide stated at a listening to on Tuesday.

Mr. Smollett is charged with disorderly conduct in what prosecutors say was the staging of an assault in 2019. Mr. Smollett has pleaded not responsible.

The case started on Jan. 29, 2019, when Mr. Smollett alleged that two males assaulted him in a racist and homophobic assault as he was returning residence from a sandwich store. He stated that he was overwhelmed, had an “unknown chemical substance” poured on him, was known as racist and homophobic slurs and had a rope put round his neck.

On Feb. 20, 2019, the Cook dinner County state’s lawyer, Kim Foxx, charged Mr. Smollett with submitting a false police report. The costs have been dropped, and in August of that yr, a decide appointed a particular prosecutor, Dan K. Webb, to the case. (The decide stated Ms. Foxx hadn’t adopted process earlier within the case.)

When he accomplished his investigation, Mr. Webb stated that Mr. Smollett was being indicted once more, on six felony counts of disorderly conduct. Mr. Webb additionally discovered that whereas Ms. Foxx’s workplace didn’t violate the regulation in dealing with the case, it did abuse its discretion in dropping the fees and he discovered that the workplace put out false or deceptive public statements about why it did so.

Mr. Smollett and his legal professionals (there have been eight current at a video convention listening to on Tuesday) have been in entrance of Cook dinner County Circuit Court docket Choose James B. Linn on a number of events. However a date was solely set now due to the pandemic, the quantity of discovery within the case, and a dispute over who might signify Mr. Smollett.

In March 2020, one lawyer, Nenye Uche, filed paperwork to affix Mr. Smollett’s protection group, however Mr. Webb objected, citing a battle of curiosity as a result of, shortly after the Jan. 29 incident, Mr. Uche had interviewed two brothers — Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo — who may very well be witnesses for the prosecution.

In July, Choose Linn dominated in opposition to Mr. Webb, saying that Mr. Uche might signify Mr. Smollett however couldn’t query the brothers at trial.

The decide set the date for jury choice after legal professionals met in a breakout room for half-hour. Earlier than jury choice, although, on Oct. 15, there might be a listening to on a brand new movement to dismiss the case.

Mr. Smollett didn’t reply to a request for remark.

Mr. Smollett additionally faces a lawsuit from the Metropolis of Chicago, claiming the actor owes town greater than $130,000 to cowl police extra time prices incurred whereas they investigated what they are saying is a hoax.

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