Jussie Smollett defense could rest today with or without his testimony

Asia's Tech News Daily

CHICAGO — Jussie Smollett’s attorneys are expected to continue presenting their case to jurors Monday morning on what might be the final day of the “Empire” actor’s trial.

And as the trial nears its close, all eyes are on Smollett: Will he take the stand in his own defense?

Smollett faces six counts of felony disorderly conduct after allegedly staging a hoax hate-crime attack on himself and then lying to police about it. The trial is a culmination of almost three years of intense media attention and controversy surrounding the case, which became a national culture-war firestorm.

On Thursday evening, after telling jurors they would have an impromptu three-day weekend, Cook County Judge James Linn said he believed the case could wrap up Monday.

Prosecutors rested their case Thursday after the testimony of their two central witnesses: Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo, two brothers who told jurors Smollett recruited them to stage the phony hate crime.

Shortly afterward, the defense began presenting witnesses. So far, a music manager, a publicist and a doctor have testified on Smollett’s behalf.

The actor, who is Black and gay, told officers in 2019 that he was attacked by two people who yelled racist and homophobic slurs, poured bleach on him, and tied a rope around his neck like a noose. The Osundairos, however, told police Smollett recruited them to stage the attack, turning Smollett from victim to suspect.

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