Things have been developing rapidly throughout the day on Wednesday in regard to Empire star Jussie Smollett and the investigation into the attack he claimed happened late last month. Now, reports detail that a grand jury has indicted the actor and he is in serious trouble.
TMZ reports that the two brothers who have admitted they were involved in the attack, Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo, testified in front of a grand jury in Cook County on Wednesday. As the Inquisitr detailed earlier, Smollett had officially been deemed a suspect in the criminal investigation into what happened, shifting from the status of being a victim.
After some starts and stops regarding the grand jury throughout the day, the Osundairo brothers testified for more than two hours late in the afternoon. The Associated Press shares that the two men were not granted immunity from prosecution, nor were they testifying as part of a plea deal. Shortly after their testimony, the grand jury handed down an indictment.
According to the Advocate, Smollett is now facing a Class 4 felony charge of filing a false police report. If the Empire star is found guilty, he could be sentenced to prison time of 1 to 3 years. However, reports also detail that he could simply receive probation as well.
At this point, detectives are said to be working with Jussie’s lawyers to negotiate a “reasonable surrender.” Smollett is slated to be in court in Chicago Thursday afternoon.
BREAKING: "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett has been charged with felony disorderly conduct for allegedly filing false police report when he reported that he was attacked, Chicago police say. https://t.co/VyXBnp47zO— The Associated Press (@AP) February 21, 2019
Questions still remain about the hate letter that was allegedly sent to Smollett shortly before the supposed attack. Now, the United States Postal Inspection Service along with the FBI are adjusting their investigation to look into whether Jussie may have sent the letter to himself. The Inquisitr noted that if the investigation determines that Jussie did send the letter to himself, he faces additional serious prison time.
Reports detail that the FBI has questioned the Osundairo brothers about the letter and they say they had no involvement in sending it. Investigators are looking into whether anything at the apartment of the Nigerian brothers matches the letter, but they say they only saw a photo of it via Smollett’s phone.
This case has held the nation’s attention since Smollett initially reported the attack on January 29. While the Chicago police officially referred to him as a victim until recently, there had been numerous tidbits emerging that signaled issues with the Empire star’s story. As soon as the Osundairo brothers returned to the U.S. and started talking, Jussie’s story rapidly unraveled.
Until now, Empire and Fox have said they stand behind Jussie Smollett. Now that he has been charged, however, many will be interested to see if that position changes. Everybody will be anxious to see where this case heads next and what happens once he appears in court.