November 16, 2021
The jury in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse will retire to consider their verdict on Tuesday at 9am, as the city of Kenosha braced for protests ahead of the verdict.
Rittenhouse, 18, is charged with first-degree intentional homicide and other counts for killing Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber and wounding Gaige Grosskreutz on August 25, 2020.
On Tuesday deliberations will begin in the case that has stirred fierce debate in the U.S. over guns, vigilantism and law and order.
The jury has not been sequestered.
Eighteen jurors have been hearing the case; the 12 who will decide Rittenhouse’s fate and the six who will be designated alternates will be determined by drawing numbers from a lottery drum.
On Monday, Judge Bruce Schroeder told the jury to ignore ‘everyone’s opinion’ – including that of President Joe Biden, who labelled Rittenhouse a white supremacist, and Donald Trump, who has described Rittenhouse as someone who acted in self defense.
When the shooting stopped, Rittenhouse walked off like a ‘hero in a Western,’ a prosecutor said in closing arguments on Monday.
But Rittenhouse’s lawyer countered that the shooting started after the young man was ambushed by a ‘crazy person’ that night and feared his gun was going to be wrested away and used to kill him.
The governor of Wisconsin, Tony Evers, has called up 500 members of the Wisconsin National Guard, to counter expected protest.
‘We continue to be in close contact with our partners at the local level to ensure the state provides support and resources to help keep the Kenosha community and greater area safe,’ Evers stated.
‘The Kenosha community has been strong, resilient, and has come together through incredibly difficult times these past two years, and that healing is still ongoing,’ Evers said.
‘I urge folks who are otherwise not from the area to please respect the community by reconsidering any plans to travel there and encourage those who might choose to assemble and exercise their First Amendment rights to do so safely and peacefully.’
Kenosha Police Department and the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department said they are monitoring the trial and are working with local and federal authorities to ensure the ‘safety of our communities.’