Jussie Smollett’s attorney says will appeal guilty verdict

Chicago News

CHICAGO (AP) – Jussie Smollett’s defense attorney said Thursday he would appeal the former “Empire” actor’s conviction for lying to police about being the victim of a racist, anti-gay attack.

A jury found Smollett guilty of five of the six charges of disorderly conduct against him following a nearly two-week trial.

After the verdict was read, Uche told reporters Smollett was disappointed and that he is “100% innocent.” He said Smollett’s team is confident “he’s going to be cleared of all, all accusations on all charges.”

Former “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett was convicted Thursday on charges he staged an anti-gay, racist attack on himself nearly three years ago and then lied to Chicago police about it.

In the courtroom as the verdict was read, Smollett stood and faced the jury, showing no visible reaction.

The jury found the 39-year-old guilty on five counts of disorderly conduct – for each separate time he was charged with lying to police in the days immediately after the alleged attack. He was acquitted on a sixth count, of lying to a detective in mid-February, weeks after Smollett said he was attacked.

Outside court, special prosecutor Dan Webb called the verdict “a resounding message by the jury that Mr. Smollett did exactly what we said he did.”

Smollett “wreaked havoc here in the city for weeks on end for no reason whatsoever,” then compounded the problem by lying under oath to the jury, Webb said.

Judge James Linn set a post-trial hearing for Jan. 27, and said he would schedule Smollett’s sentencing at a later date.

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