It must have seemed like a good idea at the time: fake an attack by rabid Trump supporters, do some interviews, bathe in the Left’s sympathy tears, and reap the rewards. If random college students can get away with it, surely a big-time actor could, right?
Well, it didn’t turn out that way for “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett. Before long a mountain of evidence came out indicating that he paid two brothers connected to the show $3,500 to beat him up, put a rope around his neck, and pour bleach on him.
As TFP covered earlier, Smollett got slapped today with a whopping sixteen felony counts, on top of his original disorderly-conduct charge last month. Now, CBS Chicago has some more details:
The grand jury returned the disorderly conduct charges on Thursday. He is scheduled to be arraigned on March 14. The specific allegations–“false report of offense”– are Class 4 felonies […]
The indictment expands the case against the actor. The counts focus on allegedly false statements he made to two different Chicago Police officers. Each count covers various alleged acts that Smollett falsely described to the officers–including that he was hit by two men, that they yelled racial and homophobic slurs and poured a chemical on him.
And here’s the kicker, from CBS News:
Each one of the charges carries a maximum count of four years in prison, meaning he could face 64 years in total.
According to Variety, the final outcome probably won’t be that dramatic:
The new counts likely will not have much effect on Smollett’s ultimate sentence, should he be convicted, said Andrew Weisberg, a former Cook County prosecutor now in private practice. The charges would run concurrently, so the sentencing range would still be one to three years in prison. However, most defendants in Smollett’s situation are sentenced to probation.
“I would still expect a period of probation, a psychological evaluation and restitution to cover costs of the investigation,” Weisberg told Variety. “I would still be surprised if he goes to prison.”
Should Jussie Smollett be in prison?
The Jussie Smollett indictment includes one count per crime alleged in his two initial contacts with police. So, one count for saying he was attacked, one count for the description, one count for allegations he was hit with bleach, etc. https://t.co/mBJQP0kHtB
— Emily Zanotti (@emzanotti) March 8, 2019
Jussie Smollett was indicted on 16 felony counts related to his hoax attack…
I’m starting to think he’s not gonna get that raise he wanted.
— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) March 8, 2019
In exchange for no jail time, make Smollett do a PSA admitting he’s a dipshit
— Allahpundit (@allahpundit) March 8, 2019
Aside from Jussie Smollett successfully getting himself indicted on 16 felony accounts, he also successfully coined the phrase “This is MAGA country!” which was never a real thing before, but now everybody loves it. You gotta hand it to him!
— Alana Mastrangelo (@ARmastrangelo) March 8, 2019
If Smollett has any lick of common sense, he will plead out every last one of them and settle for whatever deal prosecutors and his lawyers can work out.
Then again, according to today’s reports he’s still maintaining his innocence, so there’s an outside chance this mess might end in something a little more exciting than a slap on the wrist after all…
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