Jussie Smollett insists he’s innocent and ‘not suicidal’ before being whisked away to start 150 days in jail – Crime Online
The former ‘Empire’ actor had faced up to three years in prison for each of five convictions for lying to police about the 2019 hate crime attack. The jury found he had orchestrated the attack himself.
Former ‘Empire’ actor Jussie Smollett was dragged out of the courtroom insisting he was innocent – and that he was ‘not suicidal’ – after a Chicago judge ruled him sentenced to 150 days in prison for lying about a racist and homophobic attack on him in 2019.
Smollett was convicted in December of five or six counts of disorderly conduct for lying to police about the hate crime hoax, as CrimeOnline previously reported.
In addition to the jail sentence, Cook County Judge James Linn sentenced the actor to 30 months probation, ordered he pay the City of Chicago $120,000 for overtime spent investigating on his claim, imposed a $25,000 fine, WGN reported.
Linn was particularly tough on Smollett, telling him after hearing hours of arguments that he “really needed some attention. … You wanted to make yourself more famous, and for a while it worked.
“You were throwing a national pity party for yourself,” Judge said, noting that part of the actor is “deeply arrogant, selfish and narcissistic.”
Smollett didn’t make a statement during closing arguments, but at the end of the hearing he quietly told the judge, “I’m not suicidal.” Becoming more animated, he repeated the statement and said he was innocent, then got up from the table saying, “If I did that thing, it means I stuck my fist into the fears of Black Americans in this country for over 400 years and the fears of the LGBT community.
“Your honor, I respect you and I respect the jury,” he said. “But I didn’t do that. And I’m not suicidal. And if anything happens to me when I go in there, I’m not doing it to myself. And you have to know that.
Earlier today, Smollett’s lead defense attorney, Nenya Uche, argued that jail time would put the actor at risk due to the spread of COVID-19, but Smollett himself seemed more concerned about several mysterious deaths of black prisoners, such as that of Sandra Bland. , who was found hanged in her jail cell in 2015, three days after she was arrested for allegedly assaulting an officer after a minor traffic stop. His death was ruled a suicide, but his friends and family never accepted this decision.
Smollett’s 92-year-old grandmother, Molly Smollett, testified at the sentencing hearing, slamming reporters for not investigating thoroughly enough and urging the judge not to convict her grandfather. son in prison.
“I ask you, judge, not to send him to prison,” she said. “If you do, send me with him, okay?”
Smollett had faced up to three years in prison for each conviction.
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[Featured image: Actor Jussie Smollett speaks to Judge James Linn after his sentence is read on March 10, 2022, in Chicago. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune via AP, Pool)]