#KyleRittenhouse #Rittenhouseclosingarguments #KyleRittenhousetrial Jury deliberations expected to start this week and to include consideration of six separate criminal counts against Kyle Rittenhouse on trial for the shootings of three people during a protest against police brutality in Wisconsin, back in August 2020.
This city on Lake Michigan was quiet, calm and peaceful on Sunday, and many residents want it to remain that way as closing arguments in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse get underway Monday.
“Monday is coming, so, I mean, it’s kind of a little nervous,” said Kenosha resident Mike Lipp, 35.
Wisconsin has dispatched 500 National Guard troops, and hundreds of nearby police officers will also be available as a precaution to ensure public safety during the conclusion of the trial.
But the increased attention and the additional presence of law enforcement have taken a toll on the city, which isn’t as vibrant as it once was, said downtown resident Max Lewis.
“It’s affected the energy of the city in a negative way. It’s not the same. Everyone is trying to avoid the situation as well as keep an eye out on the situation,” Lewis said. “We’re a little dismayed by the situation. This case should have been cut and dry. You kill two people in the street, you get punished for it, end of story.”
Rittenhouse, 18, is charged with reckless homicide, intentional homicide and attempted intentional homicide after he shot two men and wounded a third during a night of protest and civil unrest in Kenosha in August 2020.
The unrest was a response to the shooting of Jacob Blake by a Kenosha police officer after a domestic disturbance. Blake was paralyzed from the waist down.
“Kenosha is ready to move on,” Patrick Roberts, the pastor of First Baptist Church, said before his sermon Sunday. “Everybody has been calm, and the community understands that it needs to heal.”
Blake’s family feels the same but wants justice for the people Rittenhouse shot and killed.
“Well, I think very much they want to get this behind them,” said Justin Blake, 52, Jacob Blake’s uncle. “Most of the people believe he shouldn’t have been here with this weapon. Most of the people seem as though they want a conviction.”
He added: “For the Blake family, it’ll be a small token of victory, because these people were gathered around after coming from Jacob Blake’s rally.”
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Monday refused to explain why President Biden chose to label Kyle Rittenhouse a “white supremacist” immediately after the 17-year-old shot three white men during the riots in Kenosha, Wisc. last year.
After exhaling deeply, Psaki replied: “What I’m not going to speak to right now is an ongoing trial nor the president’s past comments. What I can reiterate for you is the president’s view that we shouldn’t have, broadly speaking, vigilantes patrolling our communities with assault weapons.”
In September of last year, then Democratic presidential nominee Biden criticized incumbent President Trump on Twitter for refusing to condemn anti-BLM actors as “white supremacists.” The tweet text was accompanied by a video which showed an image of Rittenhouse’s face.
“There’s no other way to put it: the President of the United States refused to disavow white supremacists on the debate stage last night,” Biden tweeted last year.
Rittenhouse fatally shot two men and injured another after falling to the ground while fleeing a group of attackers. The shooting occurred during the riots that followed the police killing of Jacob Blake in Kenosha last August.
Watch Live: WI v. Kyle Rittenhouse Trial Day 11 - Jury Began Deliberations At 9:15am CT
REMINDER of the judge's ruling in defense use of force expert testimony: Schroeder told the attorneys that Black wouldn’t be allowed to testify about what Rittenhouse was thinking when he pulled the trigger or whether he definitively acted in self-defense.
Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger said if Schroeder allowed Black to testify only about the timeline of events that night he wouldn’t call his own expert to the stand. Defense attorney Mark Richards agreed to the deal.
Charges: 1. First Degree Reckless Homicide, Use of a Deadly Weapon (Joseph Rosenbaum) 2. First Degree Recklessly Endangering Safety, Use of a Deadly Weapon (Richard McGinnis, reporter for Daily Caller, not injured but near Rosenbaum when Rittenhoue fired) 3. First Degree Recklessly Endangering Safety, Use of a Deadly Weapon (unknown male) 4. First Degree Intentional Homicide, Use of a Deadly Weapon (Anthony Huber) 5. Attempt First Degree Intentional Homicide, Use of a Deadly Weapon (Gaige Grosskreutz) 6. Possession of a Dangerous Weapon by a Person under the Age of 18 (JUDGE DISMISSED THIS COUNT ON THE DAY OF CLOSING ARGUMENTS) 7. DISMISSED AT THE END OF STATE”S CASE. Prosecution failed to put evidence in front of the jury that there was a lawful curfew in place (appears to be an oversight by prosecution) Defense moved to dismiss, judge agreed. Fail to Comply with Order of Local Government - Emergency Management Activity (citation, carries no penalty) - everyone present was breaking the 7pm curfew issued by the sheriff.
Possible Sentence: Max: Life in Prison Without Parole (WI does not have the DP)
JURY CHOSEN IN ONE DAY. 20 jurors have been selected in WI v. Kyle Rittenhouse. 9 men and 11 women. (8 are alternates)
Rittenhouse shot and killed Joseph Rosenbaum, 26, and Anthony Huber, 26, and injured Gaige Grosskreutz, 27. Prosecutors say that Rittenhouse, then 17 and from Illinois, was a vigilante looking for a fight. He, like other right-wingers, went to Kenosha, Wisconsin ostensibly to protect property. This happened as protests over police shooting local man Jacob Blake turned violent. Rittenhouse’s attorneys assert he was acting in self-defense. This case became a cause célèbre among conservatives.
Prosecutors have struggled in court, failing to introduce evidence of prior aggressive behavior. This included evidence showing him attacking a woman who was in an altercation with his sister. The other is that he was closely linked to the violent, far-right Proud Boys organization.
Kyle Rittenhouse testifying about the night he shot three men on the streets of Kenosha — sobbing and seemingly unable to continue as he spoke about the first shooting — was among the most compelling moments in his two-week murder trial.
It might also have been the most effective part of the three-day defense case, potentially swaying any jurors inclined toward sympathy for the 18-year-old who has claimed self-defense for killing two men and injuring one.
Prosecutors say the primary cause of the violence was Rittenhouse’s decision to go to Kenosha with a rifle in a city wracked by protests after a white police officer shot a Black man, Jacob Blake.
Rittenhouse, who was 17 at the time, is charged with multiple counts including intentional and reckless homicide, as well as possession of a dangerous weapon by a minor. He and the men he shot are white.
Here is a look at how the presentation went for the defense, which rested its case Thursday:
HOW DID RITTENHOUSE’S TESTIMONY GO?
The defense’s most consequential decision was to put Rittenhouse on the stand to let him tell jurors what was going through his mind when he opened fire.
Andrew Branca, a Colorado lawyer who wrote the book “The Law of Self Defense: Principles,” said on his blog about the trial that the decision was “a high-stakes bet by the defense, and one that always has risk of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.”
Defendants claiming self-defense don’t have to testify. But there’s pressure on them to do so since what they were thinking when they used lethal force is so central to determining guilt.
The risk was Rittenhouse would get tripped up, rattled or provoked by aggressive questioning from prosecutors and that he would blurt out something that hurt his case. But for most of his some six hours testifying, he was calm, answering questions politely and succinctly. He didn’t wilt or lash back.
Lead prosecutor Thomas Binger pressed Rittenhouse, asking him if it was true that he intended to kill all three men. “I didn’t intend to kill them,” Rittenhouse responded. “I intended to stop the people who were attacking me.”
His display of apparent emotion just minutes into his testimony, leading the judge to call a brief recess, may have helped his cause with jurors, some legal experts said.
“There is public debate as to the sincerity of Rittenhouse’s tears,” said Louis J. Shapiro, a Los Angeles lawyer. “If the jury accepts them as genuine, then it will bode well for Rittenhouse.”
Branca, who told The Associated Press previously he thought Rittenhouse should be acquitted, said Rittenhouse’s testimony went well for the defense.
WHAT ELSE STOOD OUT ABOUT THE DEFENSE CASE?
The defense achieved a lot before even starting their presentation to jurors. Some witnesses for the state clearly helped the defense.
A stark example was when one of the prosecution’s earliest witnesses, videographer Richie McGinniss, described the first man Rittenhouse killed, Joseph Rosenbaum charging Rittenhouse, screaming “F--- you!” and lunging for Rittenhouse’s rifle.
It was also prosecutors who entered the extensive video evidence that backed the defense view that Rittenhouse was being chased when he shot Rosenbaum and, moments later, Anthony Huber and Gaige Grosskreutz. Their video showed Grosskreutz with a gun in his hand as he approached Rittenhouse.
Joe Lopez, a Chicago-based defense attorney, said he didn’t see calling such witnesses as a mistake by prosecutors. He said prosecutors often want to be the ones entering evidence that is unavoidably favorable to the defense rather than leaving it for the defense to do.
WHAT ELSE DID THE DEFENSE ACCOMPLISH?
Since so many key issues were broached and thrashed out in cross-examination during the state’s weeklong case, the defense had less to do.
Besides putting Rittenhouse on the stand for much of Wednesday, the defense also called a series of witnesses in an effort to show he displayed no aggression or ill-intent on the night, and helped to clean graffiti that day and put out fires at night.
With prosecutors trying to focus jurors on the totality of what Rittenhouse did, starting with his decision to come to Kenosha with a gun, the defense tried to steer them toward a micro view, with one defense expert zeroing in Thursday on the 2 minutes, 55 seconds from when Rosenbaum started chasing Rittenhouse.
“Self-defense is the debate that the defense wants the jury having in the jury room,” Shapiro said. “Not the question of why didn’t Rittenhouse mind his own business” and stay away from the protest.”