CHICAGO (CBS)--A timeline of the Jussie Smollett case, presented by the prosecution at the actor’s bond hearing Thursday.
Smollett sends himself a threatening letter to the studio where the TV show ‘Empire’ is filmed. The letter had a powdery substance later determined to be crushed ibuprofen tablets. It contained cut-out letters pieced together to say, “Smollett Jussie you will die black f—” and “MAGA,” for “Make America Great Again” as the return address. The letter also contained a drawing of a stick figure with a rope tied around its neck and a gun pointing toward it. The motive for sending the letter, police later said, was because Smollett wasn’t happy with his salary.
Smollett texts Abel Osundairo, “Might need your help on the low.”
The two meet and Smollett pays Abel $100 and says he wants to stage an attack.
Smollett shows Abel Osundairo and his brother Ola where the attack should happen. He instructs them not to bring their phones and shows them a surveillance camera on the corner. He gives them a $3,500 check, which one of the brothers later deposits into his bank account.
The brothers buy the red hat and ski masks at a beauty supply store and the rope is purchased at a hardware store.
The time for the attack is set for 10 p.m. but is later moved to 2 a.m. after Smollett’s flight from New York to Chicago is delayed four hours.
The brothers take an Uber to the 1400 block of North Wells Street, get out and hail a taxi to the location of the attack on North Water Street.
Smollett is late so they wait on a bench.
The staged attack lasts 45 seconds.
Video surveillance shows the brothers run from the location a minute later.
The brothers take a taxi home to their shared apartment in Lakeview, the original pickup location of their Uber.
Police interview Smollett at his Streeterville apartment after his manager calls authorities to report the attack.
When police arrive, he has a rope draped around his neck and describes being attacked.
January 29–February 21
Police investigate the incident as a hate crime for the next two weeks until the brothers are apprehended after police identify them as the “attackers.”
They agree to cooperate with the investigation, which has now shifted from hate crime to disorderly conduct.
Police find surveillance video, Uber records, bank records and a receipt for the purchase of the rope used in the “attack.”
The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office approves charges for disorderly conduct on February 20, and Smollett turns himself in.
He posts bond and leaves the Leighton Criminal Courthouse.
His next scheduled court appearance is March 14.