“Unfortunately we were facing an uphill battle where Jussie was already tried and convicted in the media and then we had to somehow get the jury to forget or unsee all the news stories that they had been hearing that were negative for the last three years,” Nenya Uche told reporters after the verdict. Still, however, he believes that he and his client will be victorious in the appeal.
“We are confident in our appellate system,” Smollett’s attorney said. “We’re confident in our Illinois Supreme Court. We remain 100 percent confident in our client’s innocence. We feel 100 percent confident that this case will be won on appeal.”
Uche’s comments came after a nearly one-week trial that sought to determine the validity of Smollett’s hate crime story. Prosecutors alleged that the singer paid the Osundairo brothers $3,500 to “fake beat him up,” pour bleach on him and wrap his neck with a noose, but Smollett testified that there was “no hoax” and insisted he was the victim of the crime. He called the brothers “liars” and insisted the money was for personal training and meals, adding that they only testified against him because he didn’t give them $1 million.
After hours of deliberation, the jury found Jussie Smollett guilty of five of 6 counts; he was acquitted on a sixth count. When addressing the crowd, Uche questioned the “inconsistent” verdict, specifically the decision not to convict the star on the sixth charge. He said that several witnesses were not interrogated and shared his belief that the investigation into the case was cut short.