Jussie Smollett proclaims innocence and reacts to jail sentence in Chicago courtroom – NBC Chicago

After Judge James Linn read his sentencing of former ‘Empire’ actor Jussie Smollett in a Chicago courtroom on Thursday, the actor again proclaimed his innocence and said “if anything happens to him” while he’s in jail, he didn’t take his. the life.

Smollett, who was convicted in December of lying to police in a staged hate crime, was sentenced to 150 days in jail at a hearing on Thursday. He was also fined $25,000, ordered to pay more than $120,000 in restitution, and sentenced to 30 months probation for the crime.

After Linn read the sentence, Smollett addressed the court and again denied any wrongdoing in the case.

“If I did that, 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,” Smollett said, rising to the table from defense as his attorneys and sheriff “Your Honor, I respect you and I respect the jury but I didn’t do this. And I’m not suicidal. And if anything happens to me when I walk in in there, I didn’t do it to myself.” And you all should know that.

As deputies led Smollett out of the courtroom, he repeatedly shouted that he was innocent and not suicidal.

“There is nothing I can do to you today that comes close to the damage you have done to your own life.” The judge sends a message to Jussie Smollett ahead of the sentencing decision.

Smollett was found guilty in connection with the January 2019 incident, in which he paid two brothers to fake the attack in Chicago’s Streeterville neighborhood. Smollett was found guilty of orchestrating the attack, telling the brothers to shout racist and homophobic slurs and shouting that he was in ‘MAGA Country’, a reference to former President Donald Trump’s campaign slogan. .

Smollett then repeatedly lied to police about the attack and was later charged with six counts of disorderly conduct by a special prosecutor.

A jury found Smollett guilty of five of those counts, each carrying a maximum of three years in prison.

NBC Chicago

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