Closing arguments conclude in Kyle Rittenhouse trial

By Mike Hayes, Josiah Ryan, Melissa Mahtani, Melissa Macaya and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 10:44 a.m. ET, November 16, 2021
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10:50 a.m. ET, November 15, 2021

Judge dismisses gun charge against Kyle Rittenhouse

From CNN's Mike Hayes

(Pool)
(Pool)

Judge Bruce Schroeder just dismissed Count 6 of the indictment against Kyle Rittenhouse, a misdemeanor charge for possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under 18.

The charge was punishable by up to nine months in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Rittenhouse now faces five charges.

Some more context: The count that the judge just dismissed, which was listed as Count 6 in the indictment, was a misdemeanor stating that Rittenhouse was under 18 years old with a dangerous weapon.

Rittenhouse, now 18 years old, still faces five felony charges from the events of Aug. 25, 2020. If he is convicted of the most serious charge against him, he faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison. Rittenhouse has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

10:43 a.m. ET, November 15, 2021

Judge and attorneys are discussing jury instructions before closing arguments begin

From CNN's Mike Hayes

(Pool)
(Pool)

Before the court brings in the jury, Judge Bruce Schroeder and both sides are discussing jury instructions this morning inside the Kenosha, Wisconsin courtroom.

Schroeder indicated that the document he'll be reading to instruct the jury on their deliberations will be 36-pages long.

We're expecting closing arguments to follow.

9:40 a.m. ET, November 15, 2021

Here are the counts the jury will weigh in Kyle Rittenhouse's trial

From CNN's Ray Sanchez and Brad Parks

 (Sean Krajacic/Pool/Getty Images)
 (Sean Krajacic/Pool/Getty Images)

After closing arguments wrap up in the homicide trial of Kyle Rittenhouse the jury will get the case.

The panel will consider five felony counts and a misdemeanor weapons charge against Rittenhouse. Using an AR-15-type rifle, he killed Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, and wounded Gaige Grosskreutz, 27, during street demonstrations over the police shooting of Jacob Blake.

Here are the counts the jury will weigh after Kenosha County Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder instructs them on the law:

  • First-degree reckless homicide, use of a dangerous weapon: Count 1 states that Rittenhouse recklessly caused the death of Rosenbaum under circumstances that showed utter disregard for human life.
  • First-degree recklessly endangering safety, use of a dangerous weapon: Count 2 states that Kyle Rittenhouse recklessly endangered the safety of Richard McGinniss — a journalist with the conservative Daily Caller — under circumstances that show utter disregard for human life.
  • First-degree intentional homicide, use of a dangerous weapon: Count 3 states that Rittenhouse did cause the death of Huber, with intent to kill him. It's the most serious charge he faces, with a mandatory life sentence. Huber swung his skateboard at Rittenhouse after Rosenbaum was fatally shot.
  • First-degree recklessly endangering safety, use of a dangerous weapon: Count 4 states that Rittenhouse did recklessly endanger the safety of an unknown male, referred to as "jump kick man" in court, under circumstances that show utter disregard for human life.
  • Attempted first-degree intentional homicide, use of a weapon: Count 5 states that Rittenhouse attempted to cause the death of Grosskreutz, with intent to kill him.
  • Possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under 18: Count 6, a misdemeanor, states that Rittenhouse was under 18 years old with a dangerous weapon. Aside from the evidence presented at trial and the instructions on the law, the personal views of jurors and the polarizing nature of the case could also come into play.

Keep reading here.

9:04 a.m. ET, November 15, 2021

500 National Guard troops are on standby today outside of Kenosha

From CNN's Amir Vera, Carma Hassan and Brad Parks

As attorneys in the Kyle Rittenhouse homicide trial prepare for closing arguments Monday, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has 500 National Guard troops on standby outside of Kenosha, ahead of a possible verdict.

Dramatic scenes — like Rittenhouse crying on the stand and the judge admonishing the prosecution last week — have already occurred inside the courtroom. Evers is now preparing for scenes outside the courtroom.

"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 in a statement Friday. "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."

Closing arguments will be given for up to five hours Monday and the jury of eight men and 10 women will be narrowed to 12 by a drawing of names, according to the judge.

A verdict is possible this week in a case already drawing the attention of a divided nation.

Read more here.

9:46 a.m. ET, November 15, 2021

Closing arguments are expected today. Here's what happened last week in the Rittenhouse trial.

From CNN's Ray Sanchez, Eric Levenson, Brad Parks and Carma Hassan

Judge Bruce Schroeder speaks during the trial on November 12.
Judge Bruce Schroeder speaks during the trial on November 12. (Sean Krajacic/Pool/Getty Images)

Testimony in the Kyle Rittenhouse homicide trial in Wisconsin concluded Thursday, with closing arguments expected Monday in a high-profile case that has polarized the nation.

Jurors heard from more than 30 witnesses over eight days. The highlight came Wednesday when the 18-year-old defendant took the stand and offered dramatic testimony interrupted by tears and several heated exchanges between the judge and prosecutor.

Judge Bruce Schroeder told jurors that each side will have two and half hours for closings Monday before he instructs the panel on the law.

The jury of eight men and 10 women will be narrowed to 12 by a drawing of names, according to the judge.

The closely watched case has divided observers who consider the young man a do-gooder out protecting businesses from protesters against police brutality and others who saw an armed vigilante looking for trouble.

Rittenhouse's testimony was crucial to both prosecution and defense arguments about his actions on the night of Aug. 25, 2020. He shot at four people, killing two of them and wounding one. The prosecution sought to show that Rittenhouse's actions were reckless and criminal, while the defense said he acted in self-defense.

Rittenhouse has pleaded not guilty to six charges, including first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless homicide and first-degree attempted intentional homicide. Schroeder dismissed a curfew violation charge Tuesday, saying prosecutors had failed to present evidence to support it.

Prosecutors told the court Thursday they intend ask that jurors be allowed to consider lesser charges on some counts.

If convicted of the most serious charge against him, Rittenhouse faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison.