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Attorneys begin to make their closing arguments this afternoon in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial as Kenosha braces for the verdict. First, the attorneys will have five hours to summarize their cases. After that, the jury of eight men and 10 women will decrease to 12 at random with a drawing of names.
Kenosha County Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder informed the defendant that presenting lesser offenses could increase the risk of conviction.
If the prosecution cannot establish Rittenhouse’s guilt on his charges, he will be acquitted. Prosecutors argue that the defendant provoked Joseph Rosenbaum and wants to present a panel to the jury. Prosecutors claim Rittenhouse raised his gun and pointed it at somebody, leading to Rosenbaum chasing after him. The judge has agreed to present the panel to the jury, which could turn the tide of the entire trial.
Events Leading to Kyle Rittenhouse’s Arrest
At the time of the shooting, the defendant was 17. Protests and demonstrations for the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, went awry when Rittenhouse shot and killed two people and wounded another with an AR-15 style rifle.
Initially, he was charged with five felonies and one misdemeanor weapons charge. He pleaded not guilty to all six charges.
The judge dropped the weapons charge before closing arguments began.
If convicted of his most consequential charge, he must serve a mandatory life sentence. However, Rittenhouse provided testimony claiming that he acted in self-defense despite knowing that Rosenbaum was unarmed.
Rittenhouse’s lone shooting survivor, Gaige Grosskreutz, contends the defendant was an active shooter.
With the jury verdict approaching in the coming hours, Gov. Tony Evers ordered 500 National Guard troops to stand by in the staging area, preparing for reactive responses from the public.
Written by Mikal Eggleston
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware
CNN: Closing arguments set for Kyle Rittenhouse trial. Here’s what to expect; by Amir Vera, Carma Hassan, and Brad Parks
ABC News: Closing arguments begin at murder trial of Kyle Rittenhouse; by Scott Bauer, Micheal Tram, and Amy Forliti
NBC News: Judge dismisses weapons charge at Rittenhouse murder trial
Featured Image Courtesy of Jason Taellious’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inline Image Courtesy of Victoria Pickering’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License