2:20 PM PT — Chicago PD says Jussie is now “officially classified as a suspect in a criminal investigation” … and detectives began presenting evidence Wednesday afternoon to the grand jury.The brothers who say Jussie Smollett hired them to stage the alleged attack were caught on surveillance camera buying a bunch of items they used during the incident.
The video — first posted by CBS2 in Chicago — shows Ola and Abel Osundairo at the checkout counter as they pile up the items, which include ski masks, gloves, bandanas, sunglasses and red hats.
I tracked down surveillance of the Osundairo’s buying supplies before “attack”
Sources say Jussie Smollet told brothers what to buy.
At one point Abel pulls his hoodie over his head, perhaps attempting to hide his face, but he’d already been seen clearly on the video.
CBS2 says the brothers bought these items the day before the “attack” on Jussie.
The items are interesting … we know Jussie said his attackers were wearing ski masks, and we also know police seized red hats when they raided the brothers’ home in Chicago. The surveillance image police had released last month appears to show Abel and Ola with their faces still concealed under the ski masks.
As we first reported, the brothers were at court Tuesday, ready to testify for the grand jury — but were called off at the last minute because Jussie’s attorneys are going to speak to police.
Jussie Smollett and/or his attorneys are prepared to sit down with police, and that decision staved off a grand jury at the 11th hour … TMZ has learned.
Ola and Abel Osundairo were at a Chicago courthouse Tuesday, ready to testify before the grand jury … according to sources connected to the case, however, that was nixed at the last minute. We’re told they got a call that Jussie’s legal team — and possibly Jussie himself — had agreed to talk to police.
End result … the grand jury was postponed. We’re told the meeting between cops and Jussie’s team has not happened yet. We’re also told the grand jury will not convene Wednesday morning.
As for the ongoing investigation into the “attack” … we’re told law enforcement believes it happened when it did, January 29, specifically because Jussie knew the Osundairo brothers were leaving for Nigeria the next day. Our sources say that trip was pre-planned, and not connected to the alleged attack.
Also, we’re told the FBI met with the brothers Tuesday to talk about the hate mail that was sent to Jussie at Fox Studios in Chicago. The feds are checking to see if the postal stamp on the letter matches stamps police seized at the brothers’ home in Chicago. We’re told the FBI is also looking into the ripped out magazine pages found in their home … to see if there’s any match to the cut-out letters used in the racist and homophobic letter.
Our sources say the brothers told police they had nothing to do with the letter, and only saw it in a photo on Jussie’s phone.
The Grand Jury was notified it would hear the Jussie Smollett case Tuesday, but there is now a 50/50 chance it could be delayed for several days … law enforcement sources tell TMZ.
We broke the story, the Grand Jury will hear testimony, specifically targeting the actor, for allegedly filing a false police report.
Our sources say the 2 brothers who claim they carried out the staged attack at Jussie’s behest — will appear voluntarily. They have not been subpoenaed.
We’re also told the 2 brothers — Abel and Ola Osundairo — have not received immunity from prosecution, although we’re told they did not file a false police report or give false information to the cops. Law enforcement says Jussie is the one who lied.
Our sources say there may be a delay in the testimony, because cops want to make sure they have all the records necessary for Grand Jurors to reach a conclusion on whether to indict Smollett.
Jussie Smollett rehearsed the “attack” against him days before the incident and it was all staged for the camera, this according to what the 2 brothers told cops.
Law enforcement sources tell TMZ, Abel and Ola Osundairo told cops they got in a car with Jussie and scouted a location, settling on the one right outside the actor’s apartment. The brothers said Jussie chose the spot because he believed a camera would have captured the action.
Our sources say the brothers told police Jussie said he wanted to make it a “physical thing,” but not to the point he’d be seriously injured.
On the night Jussie says he was attacked, the brothers claim they showed up at the scene but were extremely nervous because, just as they played out the scene, a car drove by and they were worried they’d be ID’d.
Our sources say the brothers performed per the rehearsal — they screamed out they recognized Jussie from “Empire” and then hurled the racist n-word and the homophobic f-word.
The brothers told cops they “made contact with Jussie’s face” but it was “weak.” They said they didn’t know how he suffered the bruises but the staged fight was not designed to injure him.
Check out this video of Abel … if he wanted, he could do a lot of damage.
TMZ broke the story … when cops arrived, Jussie took them down to the area he said the “attack” went down and pointed to the camera, saying it was good the incident was captured on video. What he didn’t know was that the camera was pointed in the wrong direction and didn’t capture the incident.
Jacob Stockdale, whose family was featured on “Wife Swap,” is pleading not guilty to the murders of his mother and brother because he says he was out of his mind.
Stockdale entered the not guilty by reason of insanity plea Thursday in Stark County, Ohio — and told the court he might not be competent to stand trial. His attorney is requesting the judge appoint a doctor to evaluate Stockdale’s mental state.
His case is particularly gruesome — Stockdale was arrested for shooting and killing his mother, Kathryn, and his younger brother, James, in 2017. He then shot himself in the head, but survived after months of extensive surgery to reconstruct his face.
The Stockdale family appeared on the ABC reality show back in 2008 … and were memorable for being extremely religious and living by strict rules.
A grand jury already decided the death penalty was not appropriate in Stockdale’s case. He’s facing life in prison, if convicted.