BREAKING: Verdict Reached in Jussie Smollett Fake Hate Crime Case

DEVELOPING STORY: The jury has just reached a verdict in the Jussie Smollett case.

A prosecutor told jurors Wednesday that there is “overwhelming evidence” that former “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett staged a racist, anti-gay attack against himself in downtown Chicago for publicity, then lied to police about it, the Associated Press reported.

“The issue for me is whether Smollett should face federal hate crime charges,” said national radio host Todd Starnes. “Jussie faked a hate crime. He should spend time in jail for that.”

Special prosecutor Dan Webb said during his closing argument that what Smollett did in January 2019 caused Chicago police to spend enormous amounts of time and resources investigating an alleged crime that turned out to be fake. Smollett, who is Black and gay, told police someone put a noose around his neck and yelled racist and homophobic slurs.

This page will be updated once the verdict is announced.

“Besides being against the law it is just plain wrong to outright denigrate something as serious as a real hate crime and then make sure it involved words and symbols that have such historical significance in our country,” Webb said. He also accused Smollett of lying to jurors.