Jussie Smollett Trial Live Updates: Jury Deliberations Now Underway

Live Updates

CNN anchor under fire for alleged involvement in Smollett case

Don Lemon is under fire for his alleged involvement in the Smollett case.

On Tuesday, Smollett testified that the CNN anchor sent him a text message to warn him that police were skeptical about the alleged hate crime he reported.

Lemon has not addressed that part of Smollett's testimony on the air, but several conservative pundits have called on CNN to fire Lemon.

FULL STORY: CNN Faces Calls to Fire Don Lemon Over Jussie Smollett's Court Testimony

Judge will dismiss jury at 5:15 p.m.

The judge will dismiss the jury at 5:15 p.m. tonight.

One of the jurors told a deputy that he needed to leave at 5:15 p.m. to go to his child's concert.

The defense wanted an alternate to replace the juror so the deliberation is not rushed.

Judge James Linn said he wants to keep the jury intact and will send the jury home at 5:15 Wednesday night. He said most judges usually end by 5 p.m.

"If they need more time than we're able to give them today, they'll come back tomorrow morning," Linn said.

Closing arguments on both sides end, Judge James Linn reads jury instructions

Closing arguments have ended from both the prosecution and defense in the Jussie Smollett trial.

Judge James Linn proceeded to read the jury their instructions.

The Jury went to deliberate at 2:42 CT.

Prosecution defends Osundairo brothers' character

During the rebuttal, the prosecution defended the Osundairo brothers against the defense's attacks in the closing arguments.

Sam Mendenhall said the defense "took pains to paint both brothers as criminals" but there is no evidence that Abimbola Osundairo has a criminal history.

"Dragging a man's name through the mud, call him a criminal, without any truth whatsoever," he said.

Olabinjo Osundairo, however, does have a felony record. But Mendenhall said he "turned his life around" and earned several college degrees.

"Our system would be a lot better if the young brothers who get in trouble turn around and get three degrees instead of going back into the system," he said.

Mendenhall also defended Abimbola's sexuality.

"He's heterosexual but even if he wasn't," he said, "he should be a proud Black gay man just as Mr. Smollett is. We don't weaponize [sexuality] here."

He added that Olabinjo, who was accused of being homophobic, worked in a gay pride parade.

"How do you hate gay people and go in the gay pride parade?" he said.

Prosecution calls out Smollett for getting caught in a 'lie'

Prosecutor Sam Mendenhall called out Jussie Smollett for "tripping up" during his testimony.

Mendenhall said Smollett initially said the Osundairo brothers wanted $2.9 million to keep quiet, but later said it was $2 million.

"The beauty of the truth is that all you have to do is repeat it, the problem with a lie is you have to remember it," Mendenhall said.

Defense finishes its closing arguments, prosecution rebuttal ahead

The defense has finished its closing arguments.

According to a pool reporter in the courtroom, the prosecution objected 22 times during Uche's closing argument.

Judge James Linn said the prosecution will begin its rebuttal after a quick break. Afterwhich, the jury will begin their deliberations.

Uche told the jurors to "stand up for the principles you believe in."

Smollett's defense attorney implies alleged attackers had an accomplice

Defense attorney Uche stated that police didn't follow up on who might have been in the car with the Osundairo brothers on the night of the alleged planned attack.

Uche zoomed in on one frame to identify that the driver of the car looked like a white guy.

"Who is he? Is he the guy the security guard saw? You cannot convict a person when there's doubts," Uche said

Smollett had a 'anti-motive' for the attack, defense says

Defense attorney Nenye Uche said the prosecution's argument for Smollett's motive to plan a hoax attack shifted several times.

He said the prosecution claimed Smollett went from wanting better security, to wanting media attention to "basically [starting] a race war."

Uche says non of those are credible.

In fact, Uche said Smollett has an "anti-motive."

He said Smollett was supposed to shoot a "historic" episode of his television show that featured a black gay marriage and a music video the week of the attack.

"He couldn't afford to have anything happen to his face," Uche said.

Smollett's defense attorney implies alleged attackers had an accomplice

Defense attorney Uche stated that police didn't follow up on who might have been in the car with the Osundairo brothers on the night of the alleged planned attack.

Uche zoomed in on one frame to identify that the driver of the car looked like a white guy.

"Who is he? Is he they guy the secutiry guard saw? You cannot convict a person when there's doubts," Uche said.

Smollett's defense attorney focused on the raid of Osundairo brothers home

In closing arguments Jussie Smollett's defense attorney Nenye Uche focused on a raid in Osundairo brothers home.

She revealed, during the raid that guns and drugs were found despite Ola having a felony record.

She stated, the gun that was found was legally owned by Abel.

According to reports, guns were not used in the alleged attack.

During the raid officers left behind an inventory list of some of the items they had taken during the raid, a black face mask, empire script, phone, receipts, red hat and bleach.

Defense calls Osundairo brothers 'liars' and 'criminals'

Defense attorney Nenye Uche begins his closing argument.

He attacked the Osundairo brothers, calling them "the worst type of criminals" because they are educated and intelligent.

"You have to have your guard up with them mentally, emotionally, even spiritually," he said. "They are highly intelligent, really smart, and they know how to dumb it down, so you think they're victims."

Uche also called them "chameleons" and "certified liars" who lied to the jury during their testimony.

He adds that they said "I don't know" or "I don't recall" over two dozen times on the witness stand.

"They responded like Robocop," Uche said. "Yes, no, yes, no, I don't recall, almost like someone is telling them what to say."

Prosecution concludes closing arguments

The prosecution has ended its closing arguments. Prosecutor Dan Webb spoke for about an hour and 45 minutes.

Webb concluded by saying Smollett knew the attack was fake and reported it as a real crime.

"We have proven our case beyond a reasonable doubt," he added.

The court is in a brief recess before the defense gives its closing argument.

Webb lays out six disorderly conduct charges Smollett faces

In closing remarks Special Prosecutor Daniel Webb layed out the six disorderly conduct charges Smollett now faces.

  • Counts one and two correlates to Smollett's alleging that he was the victim of a hate crime and battery when speaking to a responding officer after the alleged attack
  • Counts three and four relates to Smollett alleging to a detective he was a victim of a battery and hate crime
  • Counts five and six relates to Smollett alleged telling a detective he was a victim of a hate crime and an aggravated battery

Webb details timeline of Smollett's alleged planned attack

Prosecutor Webb reveals the timeline of Jussie Smollett's alleged attack.

Webb stated, Jan 22- Smollett showed Abel threatening letter sent to Empire set

Jan 25- Smollett recruits Abel and asks to "meet on the low" to discuss an herbal supplement that is illegal in US but legal in Nigeria-where brothers were traveling. Smollett reveals plan of Fake attack and recruits Ola.

Webb said, he asked Smollett about the name of the herb or any research he's done...and Smollett couldn't tell him anything.

Jan 27-Dry-Run of Attack

Prosecution says Smollett messed with the noose to make the attack 'look worse'

The jury was shown still frames comparing the rope around Smollett's neck right after the attack and the way the rope looked when police arrived later.

This is in an effort by the prosecution to prove Smollett tampered with the rope.

Dan Webb alleges Smollett is the one who put the rope around his own neck, not the Osundairo brothers. Olabinjo Osundairo testified earlier that he couldn't manage to get the rope around Smollett's neck.

Webb notes that the noose appeared to be tighter when police arrived 40 minutes after the attack than it did when surveillance cameras showed Smollett coming up the stairs to his apartment after the incident.

He said that Smollett messed with the rope to make the attack look more serious. Smollett testified that he took the rope off and then put it back on before the police arrived because his manager told him it was evidence that shouldn't have been messed with.

"His so-called explanation for jimmying with the rope got blown out of the courtroom yesterday," Webb said. "If he was innocent, the real victim of a hate crime, why would he be jimmying and monkeying around with the rope? He made it look worse, and he got caught."

Prosecution says Smollett withheld evidence from police

The prosecution accused Smollett of withholding evidence from police.

"If he is a true victim of a crime then he would not be withholding evidence from the police department," Dan Webb said.

He added that Smollett "didn't want the crime solved" but rather he wanted to report the attack as a hate crime and gain "media exposure."

Webb noted that Smollett did not agree to turn over his cellphone, DNA or medical records to Chicago Police. Smollett testified it was due to privacy concerns, but Webb argues he did not want the police to see his previous communications with Abimbola Osundairo or evidence that he was not actually hurt during the attack.

"This has nothing to do with his privacy," Webb said. "Smollett didn't want the police to figure out he wasn't injured that night."

Webb also said that "no real victim would decline to give police a DNA sample."

Prosecutor Webb reveals Smollett's medical record from night of alleged attack

Prosecutor Daniel Webb revealed Smollett's medical records showed no severe injuries.

Webb stated, "He knew he wasn't seriously hurt..he knew they pulled their punches."

Webb noted Smollett did not give authorities consent to see those records a few hours after the alleged attack.

"He is supposed to be cooperating with them (police) and he said no"

Prosecution accuses Smollett of making 'false statements' under oath

Prosecutor Dan Webb accused Jussie Smollett of making "false statements" during his testimony Tuesday.

"Mr. Smollett went on that witness stand, took an oath that he's going to tell the truth [and] he made many, many false statements to you," Webb said. "He lied under oath to you as jurors."

According to pool reporters in the courtroom, the defense shifted in their chairs after that comment.

Webb specifically pointed to one statement Smollet made while under oath. He said he was surprised Smollet said he still didn't know who attacked him after the Osundairo brothers admitted to attacking him in their testimony.

"He told you all that he didn't know who attacked him. That's what he said. That was false testimony," Webb said.

Webb also said Smollett "tailored his testimony" to fit what he could not deny, like surveillance footage.

"He knew there was a substantial amount of evidence that he did exactly what the brothers said they did," Webb said.

Prosecutor Webb explains the prosecution's burden of proof

During the start of closing arguments, Prosecutor Webb explained what the state has to prove in the case of Jussie Smollett.

Webb stated he has to prove, "Mr. Smollett developed plan to carry out fake hate crime. And he did."

He also said," I have to prove he falsely reported fake hate crime as a real hate crime."

Closing arguments to begin soon

Closing arguments are set to begin this morning in the trial of Jussie Smollett.

Judge James Linn took the bench and said there is no time limit on the attorneys for their closing arguments.

"You take whatever time you need," he said.

Smollett supporters speak to reporters in courthouse lobby

While Jussie Smollett testified inside the courtroom Tuesday, some of his supporters spoke out in his defense.

Opera singer Lauren Michelle, who also appeared on "Empire," mentioned how Smollett, her best friend from high school, maintained his humility despite the attacks on his characters, the Associated Press reports.

Damon Mac, Smollett's pastor from New York, said the person portrayed by the prosecution in court is not "the Jussie I know."

Activist Bella BAHHS said she doesn't trust the Chicago police "not to make things up," according to the AP. Smollett and BAHHS met while protesting the police murder of a teenager.

All three spoke to reporters on behalf of Smollett in the Leighton Criminal Courthouse lobby in Chicago Tuesday.

Smollett's trial closing arguments begin tomorrow

Closing arguments in the Jussie Smollett trial are set to begin Wednesday morning and after that, the case will be given to the jury to decide Smollett's guilt or innocence based on the facts that were presented throughout the trial.

Osundairo brother's Uber driver testifies

The Uber driver of the alleged attackers, the Osundairo brothers stated that he never actually saw a cell phone. He said the first guy to get in was indeed talking, but it was unclear who he was talking to or if he was on a phone.

The Uber driver said, "I believed he had a phone because the guy would have to be crazy to talk to himself." He then stated that the guys changed their destination on a phone app.

Smollett says brothers offered to 'go away' for $2 million

Jussie Smollett testified that the Osundairo brothers asked for $2 million to "go away."

He claimed the brothers said they would tell "the truth that you were never involved in any sort of hoax."

During re-cross from the prosecution, Smollett said the brothers never contacted him directly about the money.

"Their lawyer or agent or agency communicated to my people. To my lawyers," he said.

Smollett said no money was ever paid.

Prosecutor Dan Webb wanted to have the payoff testimony stricken from the record. This issue was subject to extensive pre-trial litigation.

Judge James Linn said he was under the impression Smollett had direct communication with the brothers. He said it is too late to strike the testimony and advised the jury that they can decide how much weight, if any, to give to it.

Jussie Smollett off the stand, look ahead to who next

After cross examination by Prosecutor Daniel Webb and defense attorney Nenye Uche, Smollett leaves the stand.

Up next on the stand is the Uber driver who picked up the Osundairo brothers the night of the alleged attack.

Smollett upset after Prosecutor asks him about "getting a few bruises"

Jussie Smollett became visibly upset following a line of questioning from Prosecutor Webb.

Webb asked Smollett if, "getting a few bruises" was really a big blow to his career.

Smollett replied, "Mr. Webb, I have a scar under my eye that looks like a bag for the rest of my life," as well as a "black circle" on his face. "It's absolutely a problem."

Smollett's defense attorney Nenye Uche, presented testimony confirming that Smollett's injuries were real and test results were ordered for his injuries.

Defense argues Smollett messages other about flight status ahead of attack

Jussie Smollett testified that "tons" of his Instagram followers saw his story on the social media app about his flight information.

Defense attorney Nenye Uche makes the point that Smollett was private messaging other people about his flight status the day of the incident, not just Abel Osundairo.

Uche argues that Chicago Police did not show Smollett or the jury the subpoena of the conversations from anyone else but the Osundairo brothers.

Prosecution ends cross examination of Smollett

Back from a short break, Jussie Smollett remains on the stand.

The prosecution finished its cross-examination and now the defense is back with its re-direct.

Smollett was on the phone with music manager during alleged attack

During Smollett's alleged attack it was reported that he was on the phone with his music manager Brandon Moore.

According to CBS Chicago reports, Prosecutor Webb asked Smollett in cross-examination, "Did you want someone else to hear the words being spoken"?

Smollett then replied, "No Mr. Webb."

Smollett assumed his attackers were white

Jussie Smollett said he assumed his attackers were white because of the pale skin around the eyeholes of the ski masks and because they used racial slurs.

He clarified that he "would never say they acted or sounded white."

"That would be racist to say that someone acted white or sounded white," Smollett said.

Prosecutor Dan Webb noted that Smollett changed his description of the attackers to "pale."

Smollett said he could not recall if he told detectives his attackers were white because he couldn't see their faces. He said it was the "responsible thing" to change the description.

"I didn't want to make the assumption that they were white. So I said 'let me change that and just say that they were pale-skinned,'" Smollett said.

Webb then asked Smollett if he thought saying his attackers were white would make his "fake hate crime" more credible.

"You would have to ask someone who actually planned a fake hate crime," Smollett answered.

Smollett testifies about two people who allegedly attacked him

Prosecutor Webb asked Smollett if he was testifying to the jury about the two people who attacked him being the Osundairo Brothers.

Smollett replied, "No, I don't know that there's no way for me to know that Mr. Webb".

Prosecutor Webb also asked Smollett if he was familiar with the voice and body build of his alleged attacker and Smollett agreed that he was familiar but wasn't thinking in the moment about properly identifying the voice and body structure

Smollett asks prosecution not to read racial slur out loud

Prosecutor Dan Webb showed Smollett Instagram messages that Smollett sent Abimbola Osundario about his flight status on the night of the attack.

As Webb read the message aloud, Smollett stopped him after he said a racial slur.

Smollett asked him to say "N-word" and not read the full word out loud "out of respect for every African American in the courtroom."

Webb apologized and asked Smollett to read the message.

There was another message with the slur that Webb asked Smollett to read aloud so he didn't "mispronounce anything."

"N----- finally made it just landed haha," Smollett read.

The attack occurred less than two hours after this message was sent.

Prosecutor cross-examines Jussie Smollett on Instagram messages

Special Prosecutor Daniel Webb cross-examined Jussie Smollett about Instagram messages linked to the night of his alleged attack.

According to reports from the Chicago Tribune, Prosecutor Webb asked Smollett about the messages sent to Osundairo on Instagram. Smollett replied, "Mr. Webb with all due respect you don't understand Instagram. " Prosecutor Webb responded saying, "Look at me. I'm old. I don't understand Instagram. Just answer my question."

After a brief exchange in words, Smollett accused Webb of "misrepresenting the facts to the jury".

Smollett denies he planned the attack

Jussie Smollett returns to the witness stand Tuesday. Prosecutor Dan Webb is resuming his questioning.

So far, Smollett denied that he planned the attack, recruited the Osundairo brothers or told them to buy red hats and do a "dry run."

Smollett admits he was driving around, texting and smoking weed with the brothers and planned to do a workout. He said the situation was "weird" after he and Abimbola Osundairo picked up Ola Osundairo because Smollett did not know Ola well.

He also admits he drove past the location of the alleged attack a few times, as is documented on video.

Pool reporters in the courtroom note Smollett has a curt, impatient tone.

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