Jurors are set to begin deliberations at Kenosha gunman Kyle Rittenhouse’s murder trial Tuesday — deciding if the teen either walks or potentially gets as much as a mandatory life sentence.
The 12-member jury will get to decide on five felony charges with sentences ranging from 12-1/2 years behind bars to life, with two also punishable by up to 60 years in prison.
During closing arguments Monday, prosecutors called Rittenhouse — who was only 17 at the time — a “wannabe soldier” who walked off like a “hero in a Western” after killing two men and wounding a third.
Rittenhouse’s defense has insisted that he only had a semi-automatic rifle to protect himself while helping others — and only used deadly force when attacked by a “crazy person” and then being chased by a “mob.”
Early in the trial, Judge Bruce Schroeder dismissed a charge of failure to comply with an emergency order for being out in Kenosha in defiance of a curfew over ongoing riots. The minor offense only faced a fine of up to $200.
On Monday, Schroeder then dismissed a misdemeanor charge against Rittenhouse, now 18, for illegally possessing the AR-15-style rifle he used in the shootings.
All five remaining charges carry the aggravating factor of “use of a dangerous weapon.” The provision can add up to five years to each sentence.
Jurors will still debate the following five felony charges:
Count 1: First-degree reckless homicide
This felony stems from the death of Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, the “crazy person” the teen’s attorneys said attacked Rittenhouse, sparking the deadly spree.
Video at the trial showed Rosenbaum earlier confronting others during the protests, then chasing Rittenhouse into a used-car lot as Rittenhouse yelled, “Friendly, friendly, friendly.”
Richie McGinniss, a reporter who was trailing Rittenhouse, backed the teen’s testimony that Rosenbaum lunged for Rittenhouse’s gun, sparking the shooting.
Reckless homicide differs from intentional homicide in that prosecutors aren’t alleging Rittenhouse intended to murder Rosenbaum. However, for a conviction, the jury must find Rittenhouse caused the death with “utter disregard for human life.
The charge carries a sentence of up to 60 years in prison. The dangerous weapon modifier carries an additional five years.
Count 2: First-degree recklessly endangering safety
This felony charge accuses Rittenhouse of risking the life of videographer McGinnis, who was directly behind Rosenblaum when the first deadly shooting happened.
McGinnis, the chief video director of the Daily Caller, instead proved to be a powerful witness for the defense case, validating the teen’s claims that Rosenblaum had threatened him and was lunging to grab his rifle at the time.
This felony carries a fine of up to $25,000 and up to 12-1/2 years in prison, with an additional five years again for the weapons modifier.
Count 3: First-degree recklessly endangering safety
The same charge applies to Rittenhouse seemingly opening fire on a man caught on video leaping at him and seemingly trying to kick him. The shots appear to miss, and the apparent attacker never came forward.
Like charge 2, it faces the same $25,000 fine and 12 1/2 years in prison, with the same potential addition for the weapons modifier.
Count 4: First-degree intentional homicide
This is the most serious charge Rittenhouse faces and similar to first-degree murder in other states, carrying a mandatory life sentence.
It stems from the death of Anthony Huber, 26, who was seen hitting the teen with his skateboard as he ran from the first shooting.
Intentional homicide means just that — a person killed someone and meant to do it.
The jury also was given the option of second-degree intentional homicide and first-degree reckless homicide in Huber’s death, both punishable by up to 60 years in prison.
As with the charge in Rosenblaum’s death, the first-degree reckless homicide charge requires jurors to decide that Rittenhouse caused Huber’s death with an utter disregard for human life.
Count 5: Attempted first-degree intentional homicide
This charge stems from Rittenhouse wounding Gaige Grosskreutz, 27, who lost part of his arm when he was shot while advancing on Rittenhouse with a gun in his hand.
Grosskreutz — the lone shot man to survive — admitted to the court that he was only shot when he raised his handgunat the teen.
The charge carries a maximum sentence of 60 years, with an addictional five for the weapons modifier.
The jury has also been given the option of considering second-degree attempted intentional homicide and first-degree reckless endangerment charges.
The possible punishment for attempted second-degree intentional homicide is 30 years. Attempted first-degree reckless homicide is punishable by up to 12 1/2 years.
With Post wires