Kim Foxx, Jussie Smollett: Judge previously said attorneys cannot call on Cook County state's attorney to testify
CHICAGO (WLS) -- The trial date for former "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett is now set, two years after the actor allegedly staged a homophobic and racist attack on himself in Chicago.
A judge scheduled the trial to begin Nov. 29.
Last month, a judge ruled that Smollett's new legal team would have an additional two weeks to begin preparing arguments and reviewing evidence ahead of a potential trial.
The court proceedings added another chapter to the ever-changing legal case that's been going on for more than two years after the Cook County State's Attorney's office brought charges against the former TV star, saying he filed false police reports when he claimed he was attacked in what he called a hate crime.
Police said an intense investigation revealed Smollett had paid the brothers who allegedly attacked him and faked the entire incident.
State's Attorney Kim Foxx's office charged Smollet and then later dismissed the charges in March of 2019 after saying Smollett had completed community service and forfeited his $10,000 bond.
A special prosecutor was brought in to review Foxx's handling of the case and recharged Smollet with disorderly conduct in filing a fake police report.
Progress on the case was slowed by accusations that one of Smollett's attorneys, Nenye Uche, had spoken to the two men the actor allegedly hired to help him carry out the attack. Special Prosecutor Dan Webb argued that was a conflict of interest.
Cook County Judge James Linn ordered that Uche could remain on the case but prohibited him from questioning the two brothers, Abinbola and Olabinjo Osudairo, should the case go to trial.
Uche told the judge he needed more time to prepare arguments on several pre-trial motions, including the defense's hope to introduce evidence about the older brother's prior conviction.
The judge later said Smollett's attorneys could not call on Foxx to testify and could not reference various lawsuits linked to his case.
A full legal team representing Smollett has said that, without question, Smollett is innocent and lambasted the entire process that's played out.
"Is it right that a non-elected official second guesses our elected state's attorney and charges Mr. Smollett with a case that was already dismissed? That's a breach of contract in our system of justice. In our case law in Illinois, we have cases that say you can't breach contracts," Uche said.
"We had over 20 detectives assigned by the Chicago Police Department investigating this low-level class 4 felony. As Mr. Uche pointed out, a case that had already been dismissed on its merit. So let's talk about the tremendous waste of resources here. Let's talk about the good citizens of Cook County and their tax dollars," added fellow attorney Tamara Walker.
Smollett, who was starring in the television show "Empire" at the time of the incident, has been charged with felony counts of disorderly conduct for allegedly filing false police reports about what happened. He has denied the allegations and pleaded not guilty.
The Associated Press contributed to this post.