KENOSHA, Wis. — Jurors began deliberations Tuesday in Kyle Rittenhouse’s closely-watched murder trial over a triple shooting that killed two men and injured a third during last year’s riots in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
The jury consists of seven women and five men who were selected Tuesday morning.
“Members of the jury, it is for you to determine whether the defendant is guilty or not guilty of each of the offenses charged,” Judge Bruce Schroeder said.
Rittenhouse drew six others’ names from a raffle drum to be designated as alternates.
Rittenhouse, 18, is charged with killing Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, and wounding Gaige Grosskreutz, 28, as anti-police brutality protests broke out in the city on Aug. 25, 2020.
Prosecutors have argued that Rittenhouse was a “wannabe soldier” who instigated the violent encounters by toting an AR-style rifle.
“If you created the danger, you forfeit the right to self-defense by bringing that gun, aiming at people, threatening people’s lives,” lead prosecutor Thomas Binger said in closing arguments. “The defendant provoked everything.”
But Rittenhouse’s lawyers have insisted that Rittenhouse acted in self-defense, arguing that he only shot those who provoked him.
“When my client shot Joseph Rosenbaum, he feared for his life,” lead defense attorney, Mark Richards, said in closing arguments. “He feared because of the prior threats to prior statements and the violent acts witnessed by my client.”
Rittenhouse faces five charges, including intentional homicide, which carries a mandatory life sentence.
The judge on Tuesday directed both legal teams to stay within 10 minutes of the courthouse in case the jury delivers a verdict.
Outside of the courthouse, a handful of Black Lives Matter protesters shouted, “No justice, no peace.”
The shootings last year in Kenosha took place during protests that followed the police shooting of a black man, Jacob Blake, who was left paralyzed from the waist down.
With Post wires