When Kenosha shooting trial will end and what sentence Kyle Rittenhouse could face if convicted

by 24britishtvNov. 16, 2021, 11 p.m. 33
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Jurors have begun deliberations in the murder trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, who is accused of killing two people and injuring another with a semi-automatic rifle on the streets of Kenosha, Wisconsin, during a protest against police brutality last year.

The trial has heard eight days of evidence regarding the deaths of Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, at demonstrations against racial injustice on 25 August last year.

Rittenhouse, who was 17 at the time, was pictured walking on the streets of Kenosha with a weapon during the protests, whch were sparked by the shooting of a black man, Jacob Blake, by a police officer.

Jurors were told to return to Kenosha County Courthouse on Tuesday morning for the start of deliberations in a case that has stirred fierce debate in the US over guns, vigilantism and law and order.

When will the verdicts be announced?

It is impossible to predict how long the jury will take to come to a verdict, although this is expected to take several days.

Eighteen jurors heard the case but just 12 are deliberating, after Mr Rittenhouse, in an unusual move, was allowed by the judge to draw slips of paper from a raffle drum to determine which jurors would decide his fate.

Closing arguments from the prosecution and defence were heard on Monday.

Prosecutor Thomas Binger said Mr Rittenhouse was a “wannabe soldier” who provoked bloodshed by bringing a semi-automatic rifle to a protest and menacing others, then walking off like a “hero in a Western” after killing Mr Rosenbaum and Mr Huber, and wounding Gaige Grosskreutz, 26.

But Mr Rittenhouse’s lawyer, Mark Richards, said the teenager, now 18, acted in self-defence after being ambushed by a “crazy person” who he feared would take away his gun and use it to kill him.

Mr Rittenhouse waived his fifth amendment right to remain silent in order to give his own testimony to the court. He broke down in tears as he told jurors he went to Kenosha from his home in Antioch, Illinois, to protect property from rioters in the .

He claimed he “didn’t intend” to kill, and had “intended to stop the people who were attacking me”, alleging that Mr Rosenbaum had lunged for his weapon.

What happened at the protests?

A video from the night showed the defendant being chased into a car park close to midnight, when most of the protesters had gone home.

The man following him was Mr Rosenbaum, who was carrying a plastic bag, which he threw at Mr Rittenhouse in the footage.

Shots can be heard ringing out and Mr Rosenbaum is seen lying on the ground.

Another video shows the defendant moments later, shooting and killing Mr Huber and wounding Mr Grosskreutz.

What are the charges, the pleas, and any potential sentence?

Mr Rittenhouse has pleaded not guilty to all six charges against him. They include first-degree intentional homicide and first-degree reckless homicide.

The most serious charge against him is first-degree intentional homicide, in relation to Mr Huber’s death. He faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison if found guilty.

In relation to Mr Rosenbaum. death, he is charged with reckless homicide – that he causedthe victims’s death in circumstances showing an utter disregard for human life. Reckless homicide is punishable by up to 60 years in prison.

He had been charged with being in possession of a dangerous weapon under the age of 18, but this was dismissed by the judge on Monday.

Wisconsin law prohibits people under 18 from possessing firearms except for hunting or when supervised by an adult. However, Mr Rittenhouse’s lawyers argued that another subsection of the law, limited the ban to short-barrelled rifles – and the defendant’s weapon was not short-barrelled.

Prosecutors argued the defence was misreading the statute, but after they conceded that the rifle was not short-barrelled, Judge Bruce Schroeder – who had previously declined to dismiss the charge twice -decided to dismiss it.

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