Jury continues deliberations in Rittenhouse trial

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

Updated 7:50 PM ET, Wed November 17, 2021
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3:54 p.m. ET, November 17, 2021

Rittenhouse jury will review two videos requested from evidence on a laptop

 From CNN's Cheri Mossburg and Brad Parks

(Pool)
(Pool)

Jurors weighing the fate of Kyle Rittenhouse requested to review two videos in evidence on Wednesday.  

Jurors asked to view a livestream video taken by Gaige Grosskreutz moments after Rittenhouse shot Joseph Rosenbaum. In the video, Grosskreutz jogs next to Rittenhouse and asks if he had just shot someone.

Jurors also requested the "BG on The Scene" video. It shows the second incident involving the fatal shooting of Anthony Huber, shooting of Grosskreutz and alleged reckless endangerment of an unknown male. 

Jurors also asked for a slowed down version of the video. 

Schroeder requested the videos be placed on a thumb drive and presented to the jurors on what he described as a "sanitized" laptop. Jurors will view the videos in the jury room and not in court as attorneys had discussed earlier in the day.  

After a break, an attorney returned to the courtroom with a blank laptop containing two videos. It is unclear which two videos of the three that were discussed were placed on the laptop and delivered to the jury.  

The jury will be allowed to review the videos they requested as many times as they deem necessary, the judge determined Wednesday.  

Schroeder heard arguments from attorneys citing previous cases in which restrictions were placed on how many times jurors were allowed to watch video evidence during deliberations.

“It seems to me this is a pursuit of truth and you should take the course that you think will lead you there,” the judge said, when discussing the request from the jury.

“If the jury thinks they want to look at it 80 times and they want to talk about it, and criticize each other for their, for their respective views of it. I think they should be allowed to do so without interference on our part,” he added.

3:58 p.m. ET, November 17, 2021

Attorneys argue over defense motion for mistrial

From CNN's Eric Levenson and Mike Hayes

(Pool)
(Pool)

During a discussion in court this afternoon, prosecutors addressed a motion to dismiss the case by the defense, calling it "factually inaccurate."

What is this about: In a motion to dismiss the case filed earlier this week, the defense claimed that, "On November 5, 2021, the fifth day of trial on this case, the prosecution turned over to the defense footage of drone video which captured some of the incident from August 25, 2020. The problem is, the prosecution gave the defense a compressed version of the video."

"What that means is the video provided to the defense was not as clear as the video kept by the state," the motion continued.

The defense claimed that the version they were given "was only 3.6 megabytes, while the state had a higher resolution version that was 11.2 megabytes."

Prosecutor James Kraus said that when they turned over the video to the defense, they were unable to provide the video via airdrop so the file was emailed as an attachment to the defense. Kraus said the video was inadvertently compressed when it was sent to the defense, possibly due to a software issue going from an Apple phone to an Android phone. He said, "we did not know that this would occur."

The prosecutor said that "we cannot be held responsible" for "something that happened in the transfer that we had no knowledge of."

"We didn't compress anything, we didn't change anything," Kraus said.

Defense attorney Natalie Wisco, however, said the video she was sent had a different file name than the original one and suggested the prosecution was not telling the truth.

Kraus said the suggestion that the prosecution would "sabotage" the video was "preposterous."

Judge Bruce Schroeder said that he would like to "get somebody to explain this." He said he planned to call in expert testimony and take testimony under oath from attorneys to get to the bottom of the episode.

1:44 p.m. ET, November 17, 2021

Judge defends allowing Rittenhouse to randomly draw numbers of alternate jurors

From CNN's Cheri Mossburg

(Pool)
(Pool)

While addressing a question from the jury on Wednesday, Judge Bruce Schroeder defended his practice of allowing Kyle Rittenhouse to randomly draw the numbers from a lottery tumbler of who would become the alternate jurors, prior to the start of deliberations.

“I admit that I don’t know that there’s a large number of courts that do that, maybe not any,” he said.

Eighteen jurors sat through the entirety of the two-week trial. On Tuesday morning, Rittenhouse himself selected six juror numbers out of a tumbler in a random drawing. Those six are not participating in jury deliberations.

Schroeder said he has handled alternates this way since a case in Racine about 20 years ago, when the court clerk drew the numbers and the only Black juror was removed from a case involving a Black defendant.

“Ever since that case, I've had an almost universal policy of having the defendant do the things, and that’s had nothing to do with anybody's race or anything like that, and I never had a complaint about it before,” he explained.

“I think people feel better when they have control,” said Schroeder. 

The judge also criticized media coverage of the trial and said he plans “to think long and hard” about live television of the trial next time despite being a firm believer that the public should be able to see what’s going on.

1:36 p.m. ET, November 17, 2021

The jury has been at the courthouse for about 3.5 hours so far today

The jury in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial started deliberating around 10 a.m. ET this morning. They've been at the courthouse now for a little over three and a half hours.

This is the second day the jury — made up of five men and seven women — has deliberated. They were dismissed yesterday after more than eight hours: Deliberations started at 10:15 a.m. ET Tuesday, and Kenosha County Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder dismissed the jurors for the evening at 6:50 p.m. ET. The court did not specify how long the jurors took for their lunch break.

The jurors are considering five felony charges against Rittenhouse, the teenager who killed two people and shot another during unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last summer.

12:58 p.m. ET, November 17, 2021

Rittenhouse jury sends 2 more questions to the court, according to pool reporter

Kenosha County Circuit Court Judge Bruce Schroeder has received two more questions from jurors, according to a pool reporter in court. It is unclear if the questions are procedural in nature. 

The judge has left the bench and gone back into his chambers.

The attorneys are currently in the courtroom and setting up monitors, according to the pool reporter. 

1:01 p.m. ET, November 17, 2021

Rittenhouse judge says he hasn't had a chance to read defense's Monday motion for mistrial with prejudice

From CNN's Brad Parks

Judge Bruce Schroeder speaks to the attorneys in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Wednesday.
Judge Bruce Schroeder speaks to the attorneys in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Wednesday. (Sean Krajacic/The Kenosha News/Pool/AP)

Kenosha County Circuit Court Judge Bruce Schroeder briefly addressed what he called "misinformation" in the case while answering a question from jurors on Wednesday morning. 

Schroeder told the court he saw a local report that questioned why he had not yet ruled on a defense motion for a mistrial with prejudice, which was filed on Monday in the case. 

"I haven't even had a chance to read the motion to dismiss. I just got it yesterday. And I really think before I rule on a motion, I should let the state respond. So why anyone would think, it is odd for the judge to sit on a motion to dismiss, I have no idea. And the recommended course, I think for judges, at least that is what I was educated to believe, was that motions to dismiss should be kept under advisement, unless they're crystal clear and they have had a chance for both parties to respond. Which we didn't have in the heat of the discussion on the day the original oral motion was made," Schroeder told the court.

"So I'm somewhat astounded," Schroeder added. "It's just a shame irresponsible statements are being made." 

1:22 p.m. ET, November 17, 2021

Rittenhouse jury asks about reviewing video evidence in the case

From CNN's Mike Hayes

(Pool)
(Pool)

Judge Bruce Schroeder received a question this morning from the jury asking about the process for reviewing some of the video evidence in the case.

“Do we view videos in private or in courtroom?” Schroeder said, reading the question from the jurors.

The jurors did not specify which videos they wanted to view.

Attorneys agreed that the video needs to be viewed in court. However, defense attorneys objected to the jury viewing drone video showing the fatal shooting of Joseph Rosenbaum.

“We’re going to now have, the jury will come down to the courtroom. And everybody will be shooed out of here as they should be. I’m not even sure, we’re going to need to review the procedure that has been outlined. But they get to watch it once, that is what the rule is?” Schroeder asked attorneys.

“I think they should be allowed to view as often as they want to view it,” prosecutor Thomas Binger responded.

Defense attorneys expressed concern about jurors viewing videos multiple times.

“I think it’s insulting to the jury to tell them that they have to have these restrictions on their viewing. But, we’re going to sit down with the books, we’re going to find out what the exact procedure is and we’ll await what they want to do,” Schroeder told attorneys.

“For now, I will answer 'do we view the videos in private or the courtroom,' and the answer will be in the courtroom,” Schroeder said.

Prosecutors along with defense attorneys and Kyle Rittenhouse were present in court during the discussion. The jury was not present.

12:01 p.m. ET, November 17, 2021

The jury has been deliberating for about 2 hours today

The jury in the Kyle Rittenhouse has been deliberating for about two hours so far today. They started around 10 a.m. ET this morning.

This is the second day the jury — made up of five men and seven women — has deliberated. They were dismissed yesterday after more than eight hours: Deliberations started at 10:15 a.m. ET Tuesday, and Kenosha County Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder dismissed the jurors for the evening at 6:50 p.m. ET. The court did not specify how long the jurors took for their lunch break.

The jurors are considering five felony charges against Rittenhouse, the teenager who killed two people and shot another during unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last summer.

11:55 a.m. ET, November 17, 2021

Here's what Kyle Rittenhouse said during his testimony

From CNN's Mike Hayes

Kyle Rittenhouse testifies during his trial in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on November 10.
Kyle Rittenhouse testifies during his trial in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on November 10. (Sean Krajacic/The Kenosha News/Pool/AP)

The defense's case was highlighted by the decision to put Kyle Rittenhouse on the stand to testify on his own behalf on Nov. 10.

CNN analyst Jeniffer Rodgers noted that a defendant testifying at trial is rare.

"When a defendant testifies, it tends to overshadow everything else. It happens pretty rarely actually. When it does, that's what everyone remembers and it does tend to be what everything turns on," Rodgers said.

The former federal prosecutor said that her assessment was that Rittenhouse was "actually a very good witness" and she thinks his testimony might help him with the jury.

"But at the end of the day, the jury is going to have to think about what he said, but also the other evidence, too. But I do think in these cases the defendant's testimony is something that's extremely key, and he performed well. So I think that will help him."

Here's a recap of some of what Rittenhouse said during his testimony at the trial:

  • Rittenhouse said he did nothing wrong: Rittenhouse defended his actions in Kenosha, in the wake of the protests related to the police shooting of Jacob Blake in August 2020, telling the court "I didn't do anything wrong. I defended myself." The teenager also said he didn't intend to kill anyone, but agreed he used "deadly force" that night.
  • Emotional testimony: Rittenhouse broke down on the stand while describing the night of the shooting prompting the judge to call a 10-minute recess.
  • Rittenhouse said he was "ambushed": Rittenhouse testified that Joseph Rosenbaum, who he shot and killed, had threatened to kill him and said he "came out from behind the car and ambushed me" before the shooting. He said later in his testimony that he believed Rosenbaum "tried to take my gun," adding, "if he would have taken my gun he would've used it against me" and "killed me."
  • Rittenhouse lied that he was a certified EMT: During cross-examination, the prosecution played video clips from an interview that night with Rittenhouse. In one clip, the interviewer asks Rittenhouse if he is a certified EMT. He replies yes. After the clip was played, prosecutor Thomas Binger asked Rittenhouse if he lied during the interview that he was an EMT. "I'm not an EMT, he replied. Binger followed up: "And you knew you were being interviewed by someone in the media when you told that lie, didn't you? "Yes," the defendant said.