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Jussie Smollett released from jail on bond pending appeal

Jussie Smollett released from jail on bond pending appeal
A Chicago court on Wednesday granted "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett release from jail on bond pending an appeal a week after he was sentenced to 150 days in Cook County Jail. File Photo by Tannen Maury/EPA-EFE

March 16 (UPI) -- Empire actor Jussie Smollett was ordered released from jail on Wednesday about a week after he was sentenced to 150 days in jail for falsely reporting that he was the victim of hate crime.

The First Illinois Appellate Court District, Fifth Division, ordered a stay of Smollett's jail term pending an appeal.

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Last week, Cook County Circuit Court Judge James Linn handed Smollett a 30-month felony probation term and ordered him to pay $120,106 in restitution to the City of Chicago in addition to requiring him to serve the first 150 days of the sentence in Cook County Jail.

Attorneys for Smollett, 39, said they planned to appeal his sentence but the judge denied their requests for a stay during the sentencing.

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On Wednesday, the court granted him bond as he was convicted of non-violent offenses and the court would not be able to hear and rule on an appeal of his sentence before it is scheduled to end.

Smollett will be released on a personal recognizance bond of $150,000 but will not be required to pay the money.

In December, Smollett was found guilty on five of six charges of disorderly conduct for making a false police report after prosecutors said he paid brothers Abimbola Osundairo and Olabinjo Osundairo to attack him and yell "this is MAGA country" and racial slurs at him while placing a noose around his neck in an attempt to gain public sympathy and settle a dispute about his security.

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During Thursday's sentencing hearing, Linn described Smollett as "a charlatan pretending to be a victim of a hate crime."

Smollett, when given the opportunity to speak following the sentencing, exclaimed "I am not suicidal" before saying he respected the judge and his decision but also repeatedly saying "I did not do this."

On Monday, Smollett's family said he was being kept in a psych ward at the jail, saying he was "at risk of self-harm" and that he had been the target of "vicious threats in social media forums" reflecting the "hatred and wish for physical harm towards Smollett which he may experience during incarceration."

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The sheriff's office denied the allegations that Smollett was in solitary confinement, saying it had not been used for any inmate since 2016, and that Smollett was in his own cell which is monitored by security cameras and an officer with a body camera.

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