KENOSHA, Wis. – Jurors ended a second day of deliberations Wednesday in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, who faces criminal charges after shooting three people, killing two, during civil unrest last year in Kenosha.
The jury deliberated for a full day Tuesday but did not come to a decision on Rittenhouse’s guilt or innocence. He faces several charges, including first-degree intentional homicide and first-degree reckless homicide, for the deaths of Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, and the shooting of Gaige Grosskreutz, now 28.
Central to the case is whether Rittenhouse, then 17, acted in self-defense. Prosecutors have sought to portray him as a vigilante who came to Kenosha from outside the community and provoked violence that night. Defense attorneys have argued he did what he had to in order to protect himself on a chaotic night of riots.
Update 5:45 p.m. EST Nov. 17: Jurors in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse have ended their second day of deliberations without reaching a verdict. The 12-member jury will resume deliberations at 10 a.m. EST on Thursday.
Jurors deliberated for approximately 7 1/2 hours on Wednesday, CNN reported.
Update 3:25 p.m. EST Nov. 17: Rittenhouse’s attorneys asked Wednesday for Judge Bruce Schroeder to declare a mistrial in the case over a drone video submitted by prosecutors, WITI-TV reported.
In court, defense attorneys said they got a lower quality version of the video from prosecutors. Kenosha County Assistant District Attorney James Kraus said the mix-up was an honest mistake likely caused by technology.
Update 1:22 p.m. EST Nov. 17: The jury has sent two new questions to the court, CNN reported, citing a pool reporter.
It was not immediately clear what the questions were.
Update 12:25 p.m. EST Nov. 17: Judge Bruce Schroeder told jurors that they are able to view video evidence from the Rittenhouse trial in the courtroom without members of the media or the public present. He also asked that the jurors provide a “general description” of what video they aimed to see.
Defense attorney Mark Richards objected to allowing the jury to view drone footage and expressed concerns that jurors viewing footage as often as they’d like might give undue weight to particular pieces of evidence. He otherwise agreed with prosecutors about allowing the jury to view videos.
Update 12:10 p.m. EST Nov. 17: Jurors asked whether they would be allowed to view video evidence shown in the trial as they continued deliberating the case against Rittenhouse on Wednesday, WITI-TV reported.
The jury began deliberations around 10 a.m. EST on Tuesday, according to CNN.
Update 11:10 a.m. EST Nov. 17: Jurors have begun their second day of deliberations, CNN reported Wednesday, citing a pool reporter in court.
It was not immediately clear what time deliberations resumed.
Original report: Eighteen jurors sat through hours of testimony from about 30 witnesses over the course of the trial, which began Nov. 1. On Tuesday, Judge Bruce Schroeder allowed Rittenhouse to choose the numbers of six jurors who would be dismissed as alternates by pulling them out of a raffle drum. The remaining 12 jurors began deliberations around 10 a.m. EST and ended them for the day around 7 p.m. EST.
Over the course of their deliberations Tuesday, jurors did not ask any questions but requested extra copies of the jury instructions. The instructions outline Wisconsin’s self-defense law and the criminal charges that Rittenhouse faces.
Rittenhouse could face a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted of the most serious charge against him. He testified last week that he acted in self-defense after being chased by Rosenbaum and attacked by Huber. He said he shot Grosskreutz after the older man lunged at him with a pistol pointed at his head.
The August 2020 shooting exposed bitter divisions nationwide over guns, protests and policing, The Associated Press reported. It happened amid protests nationwide over police violence and racism following the May 2020 death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.
A group of protesters and supporters gathered Tuesday outside the courthouse as the jury deliberated. Supporters of Rittenhouse included Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the St. Louis couple who last year pointed guns at Black Lives Matter protesters from their front lawn, according to The Washington Post.
Demonstrations outside the courthouse were mostly peaceful, though a scuffle briefly spilled into the streets Tuesday afternoon, WLS-TV reported. In a statement, officials with the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department said they “understand and recognize the anxiety surrounding the Kyle Rittenhouse trial” but added that they had no reason “to facilitate road closures, enact curfews or ask our communities to modify their daily routines.”
Last week, Gov. Tony Evers activated 500 Wisconsin Army National Guard troops to assist authorities in Kenosha ahead of an expected verdict in the case.