CHICAGO — Jussie Smollett’s last act in Chicago could also be coming quickly.
A choose on Thursday set an in-person sentencing listening to for March 10 for the previous “Empire” actor, who was convicted by a jury in December of faking a hate crime assault on himself.
In the course of the transient digital listening to, Felony Courts Choose James Linn ordered each side to submit an inventory of witnesses anticipated to testify at sentencing by March 3. He additionally gave Smollett’s attorneys till Feb. 25 to file any post-trial motions.
A jury discovered Smollett responsible on Dec. 9 on 5 out of six counts of disorderly conduct, a Class 4 felony, alleging he falsely reported to police that he was a sufferer of a hate crime assault within the early morning hours of Jan. 29, 2019.
The decision capped off eight days of a carefully watched trial, throughout which prosecutors efficiently argued Smollett orchestrated a phony assault on himself with the assistance of two brothers who, at his request, yelled slurs and tried to wrap a noose round his neck.
Regardless of the media frenzy surrounding the case, Smollett stands convicted of one of many lowest-level felonies Illinois has on the books, and the probability of him seeing jail time might be low.
Class 4 felonies carry penalties of 1 to a few years in jail, but in addition probation or conditional discharge, which is analogous to probation however with fewer strict situations.
Linn additionally might impose a wonderful in addition to order restitution, a financial quantity both agreed upon by the prosecution and protection, or decided on the sentencing listening to.
Although jail appears unlikely within the Smollett case, there are a number of wild playing cards that make predictions unsure.
Whereas the underlying felonies are minor, the case is undeniably excessive profile — a nationwide embarrassment for the town of Chicago that allegedly price taxpayers greater than $130,000 in police extra time.
And particular prosecutor Dan Webb advised reporters after the trial that he would in all probability level out throughout a sentencing listening to that Smollett took the stand in his personal protection and lied for “hours and hours and hours.”
“I feel this can in all probability be some extent that I’ll make at sentencing, that not solely did Mr. Smollett misinform the police and wreak havoc on this metropolis for weeks on finish for no cause in any way, however then he compounded the issue by mendacity underneath oath to a jury, which I don’t assume ought to occur,” Webb mentioned.