In Thursday’s proceedings, members of Mr. Smollett’s household had been within the courtroom with him because the decide, John Fitzgerald Lyke Jr., mentioned that he discovered the investigators’ account of the incident disturbing, significantly the assertion that Mr. Smollett had used a rope round his neck to intensify outrage.
“We live in a country where you are presumed innocent,” the decide mentioned. “However, if these allegations are true, I find them utterly outrageous. Especially the violent, despicable use of a noose, which conjures such evil in our country.”
Mr. Smollett, carrying a black puffer jacket, didn’t react, although sometimes he whispered to his authorized group in the course of the 25-minute continuing. One of the legal professionals, Jack Prior, agreed that the police account was outrageous, however he mentioned it additionally was not true.
“He wants nothing more than to clear his name,” Mr. Prior mentioned of his consumer.
The police say Mr. Smollett employed two brothers to hold out the assault and paid them $three,500. They have a duplicate of the test used to pay them, the police mentioned. Also recovered, they mentioned, had been cellphone information that confirmed Mr. Smollett chatting with the brothers an hour earlier than the incident came about, after which an hour after.
In a doc ready for the bail listening to, prosecutors mentioned they’d video of the brothers on the scene, textual content messages they shared with Mr. Smollett and their testimony as to how Mr. Smollett had recruited them for the plan. He even had them go to the scene of what investigators contend was the faux assault, a spot close to his house, on an earlier night time to arrange, prosecutors mentioned.