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Closing arguments conclude in Kyle Rittenhouse trial

Kyle Rittenhouse judge stops mid-sentence during jury instructions
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What we covered here

  • The jury in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse will begin deliberations Tuesday.
  • Rittenhouse, now 18, is charged with five felonies.
  • The case stems from Rittenhouse’s actions in the wake of protests related to the police shooting of Jacob Blake in August 2020.

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Final 12 jurors chosen by lottery in the Rittenhouse trial

A raffle drum, that will be used to pick the numbers of the alternate jurors who will be excused when the Kyle Rittenhouse case goes to the jury, sits in the courtroom on Friday, Nov. 12, 2021 in Kenosha, Wis. Judge Bruce Schroeder told jurors that he would select as many names as necessary from the tumbler to go from 18 down to 12 jurors. 

The 12 jurors who will deliberate the case and reach a verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial have been selected.

This morning, before deliberations begin, six of the 18 jurors who heard the case were selected during a lottery held in the courtroom. The 18 potential jurors heard the evidence and testimony in the case so that alternates were available if jurors needed to be dismissed.

All the jurors’ numbers were loaded into a tumbler and mixed around. Defendant Kyle Rittenhouse selected six numbers from the batch.

“All of the jurors’ numbers have been exhibited to the defendant, I believe. They’re paper clipped together now. Please put them in the tumbler and we’ll rotate it and the defendant will draw six of the numbers,” Judge Bruce Schroeder said.

The jurors whose numbers he selected were sent out of the courtroom. They will continue to serve as alternates. The clerk read off their numbers after Rittenhouse made his selections.

Rittenhouse reaches into the tumbler to pull out a juror number on Tuesday.

“As I call your number, please stand up. Number 11. Number 58. Number 14. Number 45. Number 9. Number 52. Then if you’ll follow the bailiff into the back room,” the clerk said.

The 12 jurors are now beginning deliberations in the case. The alternates will remain at the courthouse during deliberations.

Jury in Rittenhouse trial will begin deliberations today

The jury in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse will begin deliberations today.

The panel of 18 jurors, eight men and 10 women, will be narrowed down to the 12 by a random drawing using a raffle tumbler this morning. The 12 jurors selected randomly will then deliberate the case.

On Monday, jurors were asked to report back to court at 10 a.m. ET today.

Key moments from dueling closing arguments in the Rittenhouse trial

Defense attorney Mark Richards gives his closing argument in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Monday.

Kyle Rittenhouse provoked the fatal shootings in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last year by pointing his AR-15-style weapon at Joseph Rosenbaum, prosecutors said Monday in closing arguments of his homicide trial.

“That is what provokes this entire incident,” prosecutor Thomas Binger said. “When the defendant provokes this incident, he loses the right to self-defense. You cannot claim self-defense against a danger you create.”

In response, defense attorney Mark Richards said Rittenhouse did not act recklessly when he fatally shot Rosenbaum, who Richards argued had threatened him, chased him, thrown a plastic bag at him and lunged for his gun.

“When my client shot Joseph Rosenbaum, he feared for his life. He feared because of his prior threats, prior statements and the violent acts that had been witnessed by my client,” Richards said.

The dueling closing arguments, which took up most of Monday, came at the end of a two-week trial highlighted by emotional and illuminating testimony from Rittenhouse himself, who said he acted in self-defense when he fatally shot Rosenbaum.

A crowd of people then pursued the teenager, and Rittenhouse testified he shot in self-defense at a man who tried to kick him; fatally shot Anthony Huber, who had hit him with a skateboard; and shot Gaige Grosskreutz, who was armed with a pistol. Rosenbaum and Huber were killed, and Grosskreutz was wounded.

The group of 18 jurors will be narrowed to 12 this morning and will then begin deliberating in the case.

Earlier Monday, Judge Bruce Schroeder dismissed a misdemeanor weapons charge against Rittenhouse, now 18. He still faces five felony charges and, if convicted on the most serious charge, could face a mandatory sentence of life in prison.

Schroeder also read a set of legal instructions to the jury members and informed them they will be allowed to consider lesser included offenses for two of the five counts.

The trial featured more than a dozen videos from the night of August 25, 2020, showing what happened before, during and after the shootings. Most of the facts of what happened that night were not up for debate — rather, the heart of the trial was the analysis of Rittenhouse’s actions and whether they can be considered “reasonable.”

The prosecution rested its case last Tuesday and the defense rested Friday.

Here's what happened Monday in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial

Both the prosecution and defense delivered their closing arguments Monday in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, a teenager who faces homicide charges in the fatal shooting during protests last summer following the police shooting of Jacob Blake. 

Prosecutors argued Rittenhouse had a part in creating the volatile and dangerous situation in Kenosha on Aug. 25, 2020 and said he had multiple opportunities to either flee to safety or use non-lethal means of defense.

Rittenhouse’s defense team, meanwhile, argued Rittenhouse’s actions were justified, saying he had been under assault from the victims he shot.

The jury will begin deliberations on Tuesday, Judge Bruce Schroeder told the court Monday evening. The panel of 18 jurors — 8 men and 10 women — will be narrowed down to the 12 who will deliberate the case by a random drawing using a raffle tumbler Tuesday morning. 

Jurors were asked to report back to court at 10 a.m. ET tomorrow.

If you’re just catching up, here’s what happened in court Monday:

  • Judge dismisses gun charge against Rittenhouse: Schroeder dismissed Count 6 of the indictment against 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.
  • Prosecutors argue Rittenhouse can’t claim self-defense on “a danger you create”: The assistant district attorney argued that video shows that Rittenhouse provoked the fatal encounter with Rosenbaum, and suggested he should never been at protests armed because it wasn’t a situation in which he was “protecting his home or his family.” 
  • Prosecutors say Rittenhouse could have fled: Prosecutor Thomas Binger said during his closing argument that Rittenhouse should have continued to run away instead of shooting Rosenbaum.
  • Prosecutors say Rittenhouse lied to the press and bystanders: Binger called Rittenhouse “a fraud” who lied to the press, saying that he was a certified EMT. He also accused Rittenhouse of lying to bystanders after shooting Rosenbaum by claiming the victim “pulled a gun.”
  • Defense accuses prosecution of “lying”: Early in it’s closing statements, the defense argued prosecutors had mischaracterized Rittenhouse’s role in the violence in Kenosha telling the jury that the Binger was “lying” and “misrepresenting” the evidence when he said the defendant provoked violence. Defense attorney Mark Richards said Rittenhouse “was taking off” when shooting victim Rosenbaum and others started chasing him.
  • Defense says Rittenhouse was under attack: Richards said that before Rittenhouse shot Anthony Huber, the shooting victim “strikes him in the head” and was going for a “second lick.” He also said Rosenbaum was “leaping” and “lunging” at Rittenhouse when he shot him.
  • Defense points at victims and protesters: The defense also made a number of statements about those present at the protests, calling them rioters and saying that Gaige Grosskreutz, who was shot and wounded that night, should have “retreated” and not confronted Rittenhouse.

Rittenhouse jury begins deliberations tomorrow. Here's what we expect.

The jury in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse will begin deliberations on Tuesday, Judge Bruce Schroeder told the court Monday evening, following a full day of instructions and closing arguments in the case.

The panel of 18 jurors — 8 men and 10 women — will be narrowed down to the 12 who will deliberate the case by a random drawing using a raffle tumbler Tuesday morning. 

Jurors were asked to report back to court at 10 a.m. ET Tuesday.

Judge tells Rittenhouse jury to "pay no heed to the opinions of anyone"

Following the end of closing arguments, Kenosha County Circuit Court Judge Bruce Schroeder told the jurors they must “determine whether the defendant is guilty or not guilty as to each of the offenses charged or submitted.”

“You will disregard the claims or opinions of any other person or news media or social networking site. You will pay no heed to the opinions of anyone — even the President of the United States or the President before him,” he said.

Deliberations in the Kyle Rittenhouse case will begin tomorrow. Rittenhouse, the armed Illinois teenager who killed two people and wounded another during unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last summer, is on trial on homicide charges.

Prosecution concludes rebuttal, saying Rittenhouse was "the only imminent threat that night"

Kenosha County Assistant District Attorney James Kraus concluded his rebuttal for the state by saying Kyle Rittenhouse’s actions could not be considered reasonable self-defense.

“The defense’s whole case has been trying to stoke sympathy for Mr. Rittenhouse and showing how everybody else was a terrible person,” said Kraus, bringing his rebuttal of the defense’s closing argument to a close.

“The only imminent threat that night was Mr. Rittenhouse,” he concluded. “He was not acting in legal, justified self-defense. He is guilty.”

Rittenhouse jurors' attention appears to be waning as closings spill into the evening

As closing arguments spilled into Monday evening in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, “the attention of jurors waned,” according to a pool reporter in court. Some were seen “fidgeting, shifting in their jury-box chairs” and “their eyes surveying the courtroom.”

As prosecutor James Kraus continues his rebuttal, several jurors were seen resting their hands on their chins or rubbing their eyes. “At least one seemed to struggle to stay awake,” according to the pool reporter. 

Kraus’ rebuttal is ongoing.

Prosecution begins rebuttal in Rittenhouse trial

Kenosha County Assistant District Attorney James Kraus began the rebuttal for the state saying it was unreasonable for Kyle Rittenhouse to respond to threats by using deadly force.

“It certainly cannot be reasonable for someone to be holding an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle with powerful ammunition and be chased by someone who is unarmed who’s smaller than him, who’s shorter than him and the first thing you do to defend yourself is you plug four rounds into him,” said Kraus.

Prosecutors told the court earlier they estimated their rebuttal remarks would last about 30 minutes.

Kraus went on to argue that the perceived threat to Rittenhouse’s did not meet the standard under Wisconsin law that would justify the use of deadly force.

“The standard is the defendant may intentionally use force, which is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm, such as firing an AR-15, only if the defendant reasonably believed that the force used was necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself,” said Kraus.

Kraus said Rittenhouse should have “exhausted all methods” of self-defense before shooting.

“Punch him in the face, kick him in the testicles, knee him in the face, hit him with your gun,” he said. “You don’t just immediately get to shoot someone … It is not reasonable for any adult … to not try and defend yourself first using other methods.”

Court takes a break following defense's closing arguments

The court is in a short break for 10 minutes.

Defense attorney Mark Richards just wrapped up his closing argument in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, saying his client had acted in self-defense and that his actions are protected under Wisconsin law.

Prosecutors will now have a chance to give a rebuttal.

The defense wraps up its closing arguments

Defense attorney Mark Richards just wrapped up his closing arguments in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse.

Rittenhouse, now 18, faces homicide charges for killing two people and wounding another during unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last summer. The defense has argued throughout the trial that Rittenhouse was acting in self defense.

“Every person who was shot was attacking Kyle,” Richards said.

Defense says prosecution was unable to damage Rittenhouse's credibility in cross-examination

Defense attorney Mark Richards praised Kyle Rittenhouse’s lengthy testimony before the jury last week, saying the prosecution had not managed to damage his client’s credibility.

“Could Mr. Binger pick on him and find little things about it? A little bit,” said Richards, referring to lead prosecutor in the case against 18-year-old Rittenhouse, Thomas Binger. “A little bit.”

“Did he damage his credibility?” continued Richards. “I don’t think so.”

Richards went on to say Rittenhouse had made the decision to testify in his own defense — a move often considered risky in criminal trials, because he wanted the jury to hear his perspective of what happened that night.

“Kyle Rittenhouse did not have the take the witness stand to tell his story,” said Richards. “It was told through video. He wanted you, as the jurors, to hear his personal experience of the night of the 25th.”

“He knew Mr. Binger would cross examine him for hours, and he was willing to get up on that witness stand, take the oath, and tell his story the best way he could, and he did,” Richards added.

Defense attorney says Rittenhouse wasn't looking for trouble when he went to Kenosha

Defense attorney Mark Richards told the jury that Kyle Rittenhouse was not looking for trouble when he went to Kenosha, Wisconsin, in August 2020. Rather, he said his client “feels for this community.”

“When he came down here, are we to believe that he’s working to clean up graffiti, not getting paid because he’s here to look for trouble? Is he all some master plan? That’s ridiculous. He came down here, trying to help to see the damage. That’s what he did.”

Rittenhouse, the armed Illinois teenager who killed two people and wounded another during unrest in Kenosha last summer, is on trial on homicide charges.

Defense attorney argues that people were "rioting" before Rittenhouse shooting

Defense attorney Mark Richards aimed to poke holes in the prosecution’s earlier argument that Kyle Rittenhouse could have run away instead of shooting.

He told the jury that the video they viewed during the trial of what was happening at the businesses that Rittenhouse claimed he was there to protect on Aug. 25, 2020 shows “people destroying someone else’s property.” 

“During the video, you look at the one wall. There’s nothing there. You can see somebody spray painting on it. They have written the word “Loot” on it. You see another individual going in the hood of the car. Trying to do something. It’s not his car. He’s not some roadside mechanic. They’re destroying property.” 

He continued: “Ladies and gentlemen, [assistant DA] Mr. Binger and I have gone round around round and it until the cows come home. They were rioters. They weren’t demonstrators. The demonstrators were down by the courthouse earlier in the night? Yes. There were people doing legitimate demonstration. These people were rioting.” 

He said that when the first shot was fired that night, Rittenhouse “couldn’t run and continue to run from [shooting victim Joseph Rosenbaum], which he was under no legal duty to do whatsoever.”

Defense attorney argues shooting victim should have "retreated"

Kyle Rittenhouse's lead attorney Mark Richards gives his closing argument in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Monday.

Defense attorney Mark Richards argued that Gaige Grosskreutz should have “retreated” and not confronted Kyle Rittenhouse.

Richards said that — as the jury saw on video — when Grosskreutz came in contact with Rittenhouse the defendant stated “he’s going to the police.”

“That is uncontradicted,” Richards said.

The defense attorney says that Grosskreutz should have “let him be and go give aid and comfort” to Joseph Rosenbaum, who was just shot by Rittenhouse.

“Instead, he joins the mob, chasing Kyle, arms himself, and runs in — the fifth or sixth person there to the melee,” Richards said.

Richards said that Grosskreutz was “advancing” on Rittenhouse when he shot him.

“Mr. Grosskreutz decides he’s going to shoot my client. Unfortunately, my client shot him first. If he retreated, it’s over.”

Richards’ closing argument is ongoing. 

Defense attorney argues there has been "a rush to judgment" in Rittenhouse case

Defense attorney Mark Richards told the jury that after the shooting, the police placed Kyle Rittenhouse under arrest at 6 a.m. the following morning, before “all of the bullets have been picked up” off the street.

On the police and their decision to arrest Rittenhouse, Richards said, “were they under pressure? I’m sure they were.”

The defense attorney pointed out that immediately after the shooting on Aug. 25, 2020, “word got out” that Rittenhouse traveled across state lines and brought his AR-15. Unfounded rumors about Rittenhouse and White supremacist ties had also begun to circulate, he said.

Richards added that his client was charged on Aug. 27, before all the information was collected in the case.

“This has been a rush to judgment,” Richards said.

Defense: Shooting victim "strikes him in the head" before Rittenhouse shot him

Defense attorney Mark Richards said that before Rittenhouse shot Anthony Huber, the shooting victim “strikes him in the head” and is going for a “second lick” and “trying to take his head off.”

He said that Huber’s “other hand goes for the gun” in Rittenhouse’s hand. Richards noted that Gaige Grosskreutz, the only shooting victim to survive, “said he was concerned” about the “blows” against Rittenhouse.

Richards said that Grosskreutz has his hand “on the gun going for Mr. Rittenhouse” when he is shot.

Richards’s closing argument is ongoing.

Defense attorney: Shooting victim was "leaping" and "lunging" at Rittenhouse when he shot him

Defense attorney Mark Richards opened his closing argument by discussing the shooting of Joseph Rosenbaum, the first person shot by Kyle Rittenhouse on Aug. 25, 2020.

Richards said Rosenbaum was “leaping” and “lunging” at the defendant and his “hand was on the gun.”

Earlier in the day, prosecutor Thomas Binger argued that Rittenhouse provoked the violence that occurred that night when he shot Rosenbaum, nullifying the defendant’s self-defense claim.

Binger continued: “You cannot claim self-defense against a danger you create. That’s critical right here. If you’re the one who is threatening others, you lose the right to claim self-defense.”

Binger pointed out that Rosenbaum was not within “an arm’s length” of Rittenhouse when he shot him.

Richards told the jury that the “physical evidence does not lie” and asked them to “use your common sense and judgment” when considering whether Rosenbaum was a threat to Rittenhouse when he was shot.

The defense’s closing argument is ongoing.

Defense accuses prosecution of "lying" that Rittenhouse provoked violence in Kenosha

Defense attorney Mark Richards is delivering his closing argument at the Kyle Rittenhouse trial.

Richards began his remarks by telling the jury that the prosecutor Thomas Binger is “lying” and “misrepresenting” the evidence when he tells them that the defendant provoked the violence on the night of August 25, 2020.

Richards said Rittenhouse “was taking off” when shooting victim Joseph Rosenbaum and others started chasing him.

The defense team will have 2.5 hours total to deliver their closing remarks.

Court takes a break before defense starts closing arguments

The court is in a short break.

Prosecutor Thomas Binger finished his closing argument by telling the jury that Kyle Rittenhouse is guilty on all counts.

The defense will make their closing arguments when court is back in session.

Prosecution wraps up closing argument by telling jury that Rittenhouse is "guilty of all counts"

Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger gives his closing argument in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Monday.

Prosecutor Thomas Binger finished his closing argument by telling the jury that Rittenhouse is guilty on all counts.

The assistant DA told the jury that when they deliberate, they should put themselves in the defendant’s position and ask themselves: “Would you have done the same thing?”

“The reasonableness of the defendant’s beliefs must be determined from the standpoint of the defendant at the time of the defendant’s acts, and not from the viewpoint of the jury now. So put yourself in the defendant’s position. Would you have done the same thing? Would a reasonable person have done the same thing? Would you have engaged in the reckless conduct that led to this course of events. Would you have gone out after curfew with an AR-15 looking for trouble? Would you have tried to use the gun to protect an empty car lot? No reasonable person would have done these things.”

Binger said that a person who shoots someone “cannot hide behind self-defense, if you provoked the incident.” Earlier in his closing argument, the prosecutor argued that it was Kyle Rittenhouse the provoked the violence when, for instance, he shot Joseph Rosenbaum who he claimed was chasing him.

“If you created the danger, you forfeited the right to self-defense, by bringing that gun, aiming at people, threatening people’s lives, the defendant provoked everything. And if he does that, he has to exhaust all reasonable means to avoid a confrontation,” Binger said. 

The prosecutor closed his presentation by telling the jury that “there is no doubt in this case that the defendant committed these crimes.” 

After a break, the defense will begin its closing argument in the case.

Prosecutor says Kyle Rittenhouse lied about being a certified EMT: "He's like a quack doctor"

Kyle Rittenhouse listens as the attorneys and the judge talk about jury instructions in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Monday.

Prosecutor Thomas Binger said during his closing argument that Kyle Rittenhouse was “a fraud” who lied to the press that he was a certified EMT.

“He’s been interviewed … and he said I’m a certified EMT. You’re lying. You’re absolutely lying,” Binger said.

Some more context: During their cross-examination of Rittenhouse, prosecutors played a video of an interview the defendant gave that night. In that interview, Rittenhouse said that he was a certified EMT. He acknowledged that was a lie during his testimony.

“He’s like a quack doctor. Practicing without a license,” Binger said on Monday.

“So how do we evaluate the performance as a medic that night. On one hand, he wrapped up an ankle and I think maybe helped someone who got a cut on their hand. Yay. On the other hand, he killed two people and blew off Gaige Grosskreutz’s arm and put two more lives in jeopardy. So when we balance your role as a medic that night, I don’t give you any credit.”

Binger said that Rittenhouse showed “no remorse” for his victims that night.

Prosecutor claims shooting victim did not voluntarily point his gun at Rittenhouse

After reviewing Kyle Rittenhouse’s shooting of Joseph Rosenbaum, prosecutor Thomas Binger moved on to describe the shooting of Gaige Grosskreutz, the only shooting victim to survive.

While showing video footage of the shooting, Binger said that if at any point Grosskreutz was pointing his handgun at Rittenhouse, it happened after the defendant shot Grosskreutz in the arm, severing his bicep.

“That right arm is probably dangling down towards the defendant. It’s not going to be able to pull that trigger without a working bicep muscle and it is not a voluntary thing. It is done because the defendant just blew his arm off. But, yeah, this is the time after the shooting when, yes, the gun happens to be pointed at the defendant.”

Why this matters: Earlier in the trial, Grosskreutz testified that his handgun was pointing at Rittenhouse during the shooting that night. This testimony was elicited during cross-examination by Rittenhouse’s attorney. On redirect questioning by the prosecution, Grosskreutz clarified that he never intentionally pointed his gun at Rittenhouse.

During his closing argument Monday, Binger said he wanted to “highlight the hypocrisy of the defense” regarding the threat they claim Grosskreutz was to Rittenhouse. 

“Because according to the defense, if someone has a gun they’re a threat. If someone points a gun they’re a threat. There is only one exception to that. The defendant,” he said.

Binger continued: “By their logic, he gets to run around with a gun all night. But oh, we’re not supposed to take him as a threat. He gets to point the gun at everybody. But he’s not a threat. Doesn’t work that way.”

“There is no exception in the law for Kyle Rittenhouse,” the ADA said.

Prosecutor: Kyle Rittenhouse lied to bystanders after shooting Joseph Rosenbaum, claiming victim "pulled a gun"

After the lunch break, prosecutor Thomas Binger restarted his closing argument by showing video of bystanders trying to provide medical care to Joseph Rosenbaum after Kyle Rittenhouse shot him.

“You want to talk about medics, you want to talk about people who care, you want to talk about people who were there trying to help. You just heard them and you just saw them,” Binger said, after playing the clip.

Binger pointed out that the people on the street didn’t know Joseph Rosenbaum, “they just knew somebody needed help.” 

“And while that is going on, the defendant flees. Callously disregarding the body of the man that he just shot and killed,” Binger said.

The prosecutor claimed that as Rittenhouse was running away after the shooting “he’s lying to the crowd about what just happened.”

Binger then played another clip showing a bystander ask Rittenhouse why he shot Rosenbaum. In the footage, Rittenhouse appears to respond “he pulled a gun.”

“The defendant says he pulled a gun. That statement, he pulled a gun, was a lie. It’s not true. The defendant knew it wasn’t true. He’s lying to the crowd as he’s running away,” Binger said. 

He continued: “Joseph Rosenbaum didn’t have a gun. The defendant knew he didn’t have a gun. The defendant is lying to save his own skin.”

Binger said that after Rittenhouse shot Rosenbaum, those around him believed they were “dealing what they perceive to be an active shooter.” 

“Someone who has just shot someone who is still in possession of the gun who is fleeing the scene and how are we supposed to know where he’s going next,” Binger added. 

The prosecutor said it was “entirely reasonable” for others to view Rittenhouse as a threat. 

Closing arguments resume

The court has reconvened and the prosecution is resuming closing arguments.

Prosecutor Thomas Binger opened his closing argument before the court went on a short break by telling the jury that he will keep his summary of the state’s case against Kyle Rittenhouse “as simple as possible.” 

“This is a case in which a 17-year-old teenager killed two unarmed men and severely wounded a third person with an AR-15 that did not belong to him,” he said. 

Binger argued that video from the night of August 25, 2020 shows Rittenhouse provoked the fatal encounter with Joseph Rosenbaum, nullifying the defendant’s self-defense claim.

Before the closing arguments, Kenosha County Circuit Court Judge Bruce Schroeder spent much of the morning reading instructions to the jury, outlining some 36 pages of things they should consider when hearing closing arguments today in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse.

Rittenhouse, the armed Illinois teenager who killed two people and wounded another during unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last summer, is charged with five felonies.

Why the idea of provocation is important in Rittenhouse trial, according to a former federal prosecutor

Prosecutor Thomas Binger argued that the self defense argument should not apply in Kyle Rittenhouse’s case because he provoked the situation, and this will be the key point for the jury to decide said Laura Coates, former federal prosecutor and CNN senior legal analyst.

“The idea of provocation becomes all the more important because in Wisconsin and in this trial, as been instructed, if you provoke you lose the right to claim self-defense,” Coates explained.

Coates continued, “However, if by your action causes somebody to attack you and then you believe, reasonably that you have some fear of imminent bodily harm or death, then you can use some level of self-defense, after you’ve exhausted all means of trying to get away or escape. The prosecutor honed in on that point when he asked the question rhetorically. Did he exhaust all means and try to leave? … Did he do everything he could to get away?And they say no.”

Some more context: Rittenhouse testified last week that he acted in self-defense when he fatally shot Joseph Rosenbaum, who had thrown a plastic bag at him and chased him last year in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in what is likely to be the pivotal testimony of his homicide trial.

“I didn’t do anything wrong. I defended myself,” he testified.

But in cross-examination, Rittenhouse said that he knew Rosenbaum was unarmed when he ran at the teenager. Rittenhouse said he pointed his rifle at Rosenbaum in an attempt to deter him, adding that he knew pointing a rifle at someone is dangerous.

“He was chasing me, I was alone, he threatened to kill me earlier that night. I didn’t want to have to shoot him,” Rittenhouse testified. “I pointed it at him because he kept running at me and I didn’t want him to chase me.”

Prosecutor argues Kyle Rittenhouse should have run away instead of shooting Joseph Rosenbaum

Prosecutor Thomas Binger said during his closing argument that Kyle Rittenhouse should have continued to run away instead of shooting Joseph Rosenbaum.

“One of the things that [the] judge instructed you, is when the defendant provokes the situation he has to exhaust all reasonable means to avoid killing someone. Did he? He didn’t have to shoot.” 

Referring to video footage of the moments leading up to the shooting, that was played during Binger’s presentation, the assistant DA said Rittenhouse is “the one who chose where to run. He chose to run in between those parked cars.” Binger said that Rittenhouse then “slows down” and shoots Rosenbaum.

Binger noted that other people in the streets were running away and scattering after hearing gunshots.

The prosecutor told the jury that according to the law, Rittenhouse “has to exhaust all reasonable means of escape before killing Mr. Rosenbaum.”

The court is currently taking a break. After that, the prosecution will resume its closing arguments.

Prosecution argues Rittenhouse can’t claim self-defense on "a danger you create"

Prosector Thomas Binger is playing video footage of the shooting of Joseph Rosenbaum, the first person that Kyle Rittenhouse fatally shot on the night of August 25, 2020.

The assistant district attorney is arguing that the video shows that Kyle Rittenhouse provoked the fatal encounter with Rosenbaum, nullifying the defendant’s self-defense claim.

“So what you see in that video is his left arm reaching for the gun holding it up. You can see it again on the video here. His left arm reaching up towards the gun. That is what provokes this entire incident and one of the things to keep in mind is when the defendant provokes the incident, he loses the right to self-defense,” Binger told the jury.

Binger continued: “You cannot claim self-defense against a danger you create. That’s critical right here. If you’re the one who is threatening others, you lose the right to claim self-defense.”

The prosecution is showing the shooting from multiple angles, while also pointing out that Rosenbaum was not within “an arm’s length” of Rittenhouse when he shot him.

Some more context: Rittenhouse testified last week that he acted in self-defense when he fatally shot Rosenbaum who had thrown a plastic bag at him and chased him last year in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in what is likely to be the pivotal testimony of his homicide trial.

“I didn’t do anything wrong. I defended myself,” he testified.

But in cross-examination, Rittenhouse said that he knew Rosenbaum was unarmed when he ran at the teenager. Rittenhouse said he pointed his rifle at Rosenbaum in an attempt to deter him, adding that he knew pointing a rifle at someone is dangerous.

“He was chasing me, I was alone, he threatened to kill me earlier that night. I didn’t want to have to shoot him,” Rittenhouse testified. “I pointed it at him because he kept running at me and I didn’t want him to chase me.”

The prosecution’s closing argument is ongoing.

Prosecutor asks jury to consider Rittenhouse's motivations for being in Kenosha on night of the shootings

Prosecutor Thomas Binger opened his closing argument by telling the jury that he will keep his summary of the state’s case against Kyle Rittenhouse “as simple as possible.” 

“This is a case in which a 17-year-old teenager killed two unarmed men and severely wounded a third person with an AR-15 that did not belong to him,” he said. 

Binger said that what happened on August 25, 2020, isn’t a situation where Rittenhouse was “protecting his home or his family.” 

“He killed people after traveling here from Antioch, Illinois, and staying out after a citywide curfew,” Binger added.

Binger was interrupted by the defense who objected to his mention of the curfew. “There’s no curfew charge anymore,” defense attorney Mark Richards said. The judge noted that “there had been an announced curfew so I’ll leave it at that.” 

Binger continued: “Although the defendant claimed to be protecting a business that he wasn’t familiar with, the actual killings, in this case, had nothing to do with that and he also spent the entire evening lying about the fact that he was an EMT.” 

“None of the things that I just told you are in doubt in this case,” Binger said.

He asked the jury to consider Rittenhouse’s motivations for being in Kenosha that night.

“Was he genuinely interested in helping people? He ran around with an AR-15… and lied about being an EMT,” Binger said. “Does that suggest to you that he genuinely is there to help?”

Binger reminded the jury they all agreed to “keep an open mind” and told the attorneys that they didn’t have any “preconceived notions” about the case. 

“Now you’ve heard the evidence and it’s time to search for the truth,” he said.

The prosecution’s closing argument is ongoing.

Closing arguments begin in Kyle Rittenhouse trial

Closing arguments are now underway in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse. Kenosha County Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger is delivering the state’s closing argument.

Kenosha County Circuit Court Judge Bruce Schroeder has set a total time limit of two and a half hours for each side to deliver their remarks.

The jury in the Kyle Rittenhouse homicide trial is expected to get the case this afternoon, when attorneys finish their closing arguments.

Schroeder explained if the prosecution is not able to establish Rittenhouse’s guilt on the charged offense beyond a reasonable doubt, then the jury must acquit him.

Judge and attorneys debate jury instructions for second-degree homicide

Judge Bruce Schroeder and attorneys for both sides are currently debating the jury instructions for second-degree homicide, after sending the jury out of the room.

Schroeder had started reading the instructions to the jury before asking them to leave.

Judge reads jury instructions ahead of closing arguments

Kenosha County Circuit Court Judge Bruce Schroeder has begun reading instructions to the jury ahead of closing arguments in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse.

The judge and attorneys estimated the reading of the instructions will take around 45 minutes to an hour.

Schroeder said earlier in court that there are 36 pages of jury instructions.

Moments ago, before the jury entered the room, Judge Schroeder dismissed Count 6 of the indictment against 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.

Judge dismisses gun charge against Kyle Rittenhouse

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.

Judge and attorneys are discussing jury instructions before closing arguments begin

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.