On February 20, 2019, a grand jury issued an indictment for Empire actor Jussie Smollett after allegations stated he masterminded a hate crime that caused a whirlwind of media news coverage. Earlier Wednesday, it was announced that due to the investigation and evidence uncovered, Jussie Smollett was an official suspect. After a grand jury convened and assessed the evidence and testimony of two alleged witnesses, the Cook County Grand Jury ruled to indict Smollett for filing a false report which is considered disorderly contact and a Class 4 felony.
Now, authorities are waiting for Smollett’s legal team to arrange their client’s surrender to authorities so he may be officially charged. Smollett’s legal team has quickly grown since the weekend and new sources say that Mark Geragos will join the team. Todd S. Pugh and Victor P. Henderson currently represent Smollett.
Geragos just won a settlement for Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid with the NFL. It’s expected that Jussie Smollett will turn himself into the police sometime on Thursday.
You may see a statement as released on Twitter by Anthony Guglielmi in the post below.
“Felony criminal charges have been approved by @CookCountySAO against Jussie Smollett for Disorderly Conduct / Filing a False Police Report. Detectives will make contact with his legal team to negotiate a reasonable surrender for his arrest.”
Jussie Smollett states that he is innocent of the allegations and charges and was the victim of a hate crime.
Felony criminal charges have been approved by @CookCountySAO against Jussie Smollett for Disorderly Conduct / Filing a False Police Report. Detectives will make contact with his legal team to negotiate a reasonable surrender for his arrest. pic.twitter.com/LvBSYE2kVj
— Anthony Guglielmi (@AJGuglielmi) February 21, 2019
Though Jussie Smollett faces one felony count of filing a false police report (disorderly contact) the Empire actor may soon face additional charges.
Other sources state that Jussie Smollett may be the person behind the hate mail he received before the alleged attack occurred.
The person who sent the mail remains unknown, but authorities are using their intelligence to track down the culprit. If evidence reveals that the originator of the hate mail was Jussie Smollett, he would possibly face federal charges.
If convicted of disorderly conduct, Smollett could get probation or a sentence between one and three years. If the investigation into the hate mail proves Smollett created and sent the threatening messages, then additional charges could be filed.