Kyle Rittenhouse Trial: Jurors begin negotiations on five crimes

A group of 18 juries were in court throughout the trial, but six were disqualified by random raffle on Tuesday morning. The final 12-member jury will consist of five men and seven women, according to a court-based pool reporter.

Shortly after the hearing began, just after 9 a.m., the judges asked the judge for additional copies of the 36-page jury instructions. They initially requested additional copies of pages 1 to 6 of the instructions and later additional copies of pages 7 to 36, according to the pool supplier.

The judges closed the day’s deliberations just before 7 p.m. They are expected to resume talks on Wednesday at 9 p.m.

In his closing remarks on Monday, the prosecutor claimed that 17-year-old Rittenhouse was provoking fatal shootings by pointing his AR-15-style gun at Joseph Rosenbaum, which set in motion a series of events in which two people were killed and one wounded.

“It provokes the whole case,” prosecutor Thomas Binger said. “When the defendant provokes this case, he loses the right to self-defense. You cannot claim self-defense against the danger you create.”

Defense prosecutor Mark Richards said in response that Rittenhouse feared for his life when he shot Rosenbaum to death, which Richards allegedly threatened him, chased him, threw a plastic bag at him and crashed into his gun. Rittenhouse also shot three other people who his lawyer claimed had attacked him.

“Every person shot attacked Kyle. One on the skateboard, one on his hands and one on his feet, one with a gun,” Richards said. “Hands and feet can cause major injuries.”

The closing remarks took most of Monday and came at the end of a two-week trial, highlighted by an emotional and convincing testimony from Rittenhouse himself, who said he had acted in self-defense when he shot Rosenbaum to death.

“I didn’t do anything wrong. I defended myself,” he testified.

Rittenhouse, now 18, is charged with five offenses: first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree negligent homicide, first-degree intentional attempted murder, and two first-degree negligent security threats. Judges may also consider minor offenses in two of the five charges. If Rittenhouse is convicted of the most serious charges, he could receive a mandatory life sentence.

Kenosha County District Judge Bruce Schroeder dismissed charges of gun possession and a non-criminal curfew prior to the talks.

What happened in the trial

Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger will be giving Kyle Rittenhouse a gun at the state closing speech on Monday, Nov. 15.
The allegations stem from chaotic unrest last year after the shooting of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old black man by Kenosha police. After riots and fiery devastation, Rittenhouse took a medical kit and an AR-15-style rifle and joined a group of other armed people in Kenosha on August 25, 2020.
There, Rittenhouse shot Rosenbaum to death – who was chasing a teenager and threw a plastic bag at him – and then tried to escape. A crowd of people chased the teenagers, and Rittenhouse shot an unknown man trying to kick him; shot deadly Anthony Huber, who had hit him on a skateboard; and wounded Gaige Grosskreutz, who was armed with a pistol.
Here’s what the Kyle Rittenhouse trial jury has to weigh

Prosecutors called 22 witnesses over six days as they tried to show Rittenhouse acted recklessly and provoked Rosenbaum by pointing a rifle at him. The prosecutor described the three other people who targeted the teenagers as “heroes” who tried to stop what they thought was an active shooting.

However, Rittenhouse testified that he acted in self-defense while shooting Rosenbaum, and he referred to three other people he shot as part of the “crowd.” He burst into tears at some point in his testimony as he began to recount the original shooting.

Yet he testified in cross-examination that he knew Rosenbaum was unarmed when he opened fire. Rittenhouse also admitted to showing a man with his rifle – which the prosecutor said provoked Rosenbaum initially.

“He was chasing me, I was alone, he threatened to kill me earlier that night. I didn’t want to shoot him,” Rittenhouse testified. “I showed it to him because he ran towards me and I didn’t want him to chase me.”

There were more than a dozen videos of the evening at the trial that showed what happened before, during and after the shooting. Most of the facts that happened that night were not the subject of discussion – rather, at the heart of the trial was an analysis of Rittenhouse’s actions and whether they could be considered “reasonable”.

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