BREAKING: Jussie Smollett found guilty in hate crime hoax

After a second day of deliberation, the jury in the trial of Jussie Smollett has found the former Empire star guilty on five of six counts.

Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

After a second day of deliberation, the jury in the trial of Jussie Smollett has found the former Empire star guilty on five of six counts.

Smollett has been charged with six counts of felony disorderly conduct relating to lying to the police about an alleged hate crime attack that took place in January of 2019.

Smollett was found not guilty of count six, which according to ABC News, "Count 6 refers to Smollett reporting on Feb. 14, 2019, to detective Robert Graves that he’d been a victim of an aggravated battery."

Smollett claimed that he had been attacked in the street by the MAGA hat-wearing white men that poured bleach on him, used a rope fashioned into a noose, and hurled racist and homophobic insults at him.

Police were able to discover the identity of his alleged attackers by tracking information on who ordered the Uber that dropped them off.

Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo were identified as suspects, and were arrested when they returned from a trip to Nigeria.

The prosecution has stated that Smollett hired the Osundairo brothers to stage the attack, with Chicago detective Michael Theis testifying that they were hired after Empire producers didn't take a threatening letter sent to Smollett seriously enough.

"He explained he wanted me to fake beat him up," Abimbola said on the stand.

Theis testified that after the initial attack had been reported to the police, Smollett allegedly tightened the rope that the duo had used to make it more closely resemble a noose.

The jury was then reportedly shown two photos, one taken before cops arrived to Smollett's apartment, and one taken afterwards, suggesting that the rope had been tightened.

The 39-year-old star allegedly paid the two brothers $3,500 to attack him in the street.

One of brothers had previously worked with Smollett on the set of Empire.

Smollett's defense has argued that he and Abimbola Osundairo had previously dated, had visited bathhouses together where they engaged in sexual activities, and the attack was fueled by a desire to be Smollett's security guard.

Abimbola Osundairo denied those claims.

Surveillance footage captured Smollett and the two brothers reportedly going on a dry run of the attack days before it was supposed to take place.

Webb said that the footage showed Smollett's Mercedes circling the Streeterville intersection, where Smollett was reportedly showing the brothers the area where he wanted the attack to occur.

"I want you to attack me, but when you hit me, I want you to kind of pull your punches a bit because I don't want to get seriously hurt," Webb said Smollett told the brothers, according to The Chicago Tribune.

Smollett also reportedly instructed the brothers to put a rope around his neck to "make it look more like a lynching, like a hate crime," Webb said.


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