The next snafu in the Jussie Smollett case comes from Smollett’s attorney, Tamara Walker, who claimed the judge threatened her.
Walker filed for a mistrial on Thursday, CBS News reported. She accused Cook County Judge James Linn of “physically lunging” towards her. According to reports, the interaction occurred during a sidebar discussion between attorneys from both parties and Judge Linn.
The court refused both the charges and the petition for a mistrial.
Walker looked to be on the verge of tears as she debated with the judge and exited the courtroom with her mother as the rest of Smollett’s team continued to request a mistrial, according to the New York Post. The heated encounter occurred during Olabinjo Osundairo’s cross-examination, during which he claimed Smollett hired him and his brother to arrange the hate crime against the Empire star.
During questioning, the judge referred to the line of questions as “collateral” in front of the jury, suggesting it had no bearing on the crime for which Smollett is being tried. Walker requested a sidebar in response to the judge’s statement, but the alleged threat was delivered during the sidebar.
Attorney Heather Widell accused the judge of “snarling” at them when they addressed legal questions.
“I’ve observed snarls on several occasions,” Widell stated.
Following the encounter, the judge reappeared around ten minutes later and instructed the jury to disregard any statements he made to the counsel.
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