Jussie Smollett took one other hit in court docket on Friday when a judge shot down the actor’s try and have the legal fees towards him dropped, telling Smollett that the brand new fees towards him don’t violate his proper towards double jeopardy, being charged twice for a similar crime.
Smollett’s attorneys made the double jeopardy argument in February after a particular prosecutor secured a six-count indictment on fees alleging that Smollett, 37, lied to police a few racist and homophobic assault that police claim he staged himself.
The brand new case got here months after the county’s state’s legal professional’s workplace abruptly introduced it was dropping its preliminary fees towards the previous “Empire” star, angering police officers and then-Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
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Cook dinner County Judge James Linn defined that the one manner double jeopardy would apply is that if Smollett was legally punished for what had occurred to him since he was charged in reference to the January 2019 incident.
Nevertheless, Linn decided that the deal, during which the state’s legal professional’s workplace agreed to drop fees with out requiring Smollett to confess any wrongdoing and Smollett agreed to forfeit his $10,000 bond, didn’t add as much as authorized punishment.
“There was no trial in this case, there was no jury empaneled, no witnesses were sworn, no evidence was heard, no guilty pleas were ever entered … nothing like that ever happened,” Linn stated of the 2019 case. “There was no adjudication of this case.”
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Final 12 months, Smollett, who’s black and overtly homosexual, instructed police that two masked males attacked him as he was strolling residence within the early hours of Jan. 29, 2019. He stated they made racist and homophobic insults, beat him and looped a noose round his neck earlier than fleeing, and that at the very least one among his attackers was a white man who instructed him he was in “MAGA country,” a reference to President Trump’s marketing campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”
Weeks later, police alleged Smollett paid two buddies to assist stage the assault as a result of he was sad together with his wage as an actor on “Empire,” a Fox sequence filmed in Chicago that follows a household as they navigate the ups and downs of the recording trade.
Smollett was then charged with making a false report, however the fees could be subsequently dropped with little rationalization from prosecutors. Months after the gorgeous announcement, a judge appointed Dan Webb, a former U.S. legal professional, to look into why these authentic fees have been dropped.
Then, in February, Smollett was indicted once more. He pleaded not responsible to the renewed fees introduced towards him and supplied a uncommon public assertion on the time, during which he maintains his innocence.
When requested whether or not he nonetheless claims to be harmless, Smollett instructed TMZ: “I don’t claim to be innocent. I am innocent.”
In the meantime, Smollett’s legal professional Tina Glandian was requested whether or not she thought the claim of double jeopardy would maintain up. “I do [think that can hold up in court],” she stated within the February interview. “That’s why we filed the motion.”
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It was not instantly clear when Smollett may stand trial. On the identical time, Smollett is battling a lawsuit filed by the town searching for greater than $130,000 for time beyond regulation paid to officers who have been concerned in investigating his report.
An legal professional for Smollett didn’t instantly reply to Fox Information’ request for remark.
Fox Information’ Nate Day and The Related Press contributed to this report