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
9 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
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.

11:43 a.m. ET, November 17, 2021

On day 1 of deliberations, the jury requested additional copies of the jury instructions

From CNN's Mike Hayes

During day 1 of jury deliberations in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial on Tuesday, the jurors made two requests for additional copies of the jury instructions.

The first request asked the court to provide 11 additional copies of the first six pages of the jury instructions so that each of the 12 jurors could have their own copy.

Pages 2 through 3 of the jury instructions focus on the self-defense and provocation instructions. Page 4 of the jury instructions focuses on crimes requiring intent to kill. Pages 5 and 6 focus on the first count of first-degree reckless homicide for the fatal shooting of Joseph Rosenbaum.

Later on Tuesday afternoon, the jury made a second request for additional copies of pages 7 to 36 of the jury instructions, which is the total number of pages in the instructions.

Former federal prosecutor Jennifer Rodgers said Wednesday on CNN that it is common practice for each juror to have their own set of instructions to refer to during the deliberations.

"Many judges send back either one copy or 12 copies for that very reason, so they don't have to come back and ask for them. We want the jury well-versed in the law and considering it at every step," Rodgers said.

She added that she was "surprised" Judge Bruce Schroeder didn't initially provide a copy of the instructions for each juror "especially because he kind of botched the reading of the instructions." 

Some more context: During the final day of the trial on Monday, Judge Schroeder read the 36 pages of instructions to the jury prior to them hearing closing arguments. The judge's reading took over an hour due to several stops and restarts where the parties continued to debate what was in the instructions.

Jurors began deliberating at 10:15 a.m. ET on Tuesday and resumed their work on Wednesday morning.

10:29 a.m. ET, November 17, 2021

Rittenhouse jury resumes deliberations

From CNN's Brad Parks

The jurors in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse resumed deliberations this morning, according to a pool reporter in court. 

The panel of five men and seven women deliberated for roughly 8.5 hours on Tuesday.

The court did not specify what time the jury resumed deliberating today.

10:41 a.m. ET, November 17, 2021

Rittenhouse attorneys filed a motion for mistrial with prejudice on Monday

From CNN's Brad Parks and Shimon Prokupecz

Kyle Rittenhouse's attorneys Mark Richards, left, and Corey Chirafisi listen during the trial in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Tuesday.
Kyle Rittenhouse's attorneys Mark Richards, left, and Corey Chirafisi listen during the trial in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Tuesday. (Sean Krajacic/The Kenosha News/Pool/AP)

Defense attorneys filed a motion for mistrial with prejudice in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse on Monday, accusing the state of intentional "prosecutorial overreach."

The seven-page defense motion, filed on Monday, was provided to CNN by the court clerk this morning.  

The motion points to a testy exchange between Judge Bruce Schroeder and Kenosha County Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger over his line of questioning as Rittenhouse testified last week, which the judge had warned could be a violation of Rittenhouse’s rights under the Fifth Amendment of the US Constitution to remain silent.  

In court on Wednesday, the judge initially called the discussion of the defendant's silence a "grave constitutional violation," but he later said it was "right on the borderline."

Defense attorneys also pointed to a second incident in their motion from Wednesday, in which Schroeder admonished the prosecutor about an incident two weeks before the shootings that the judge said would not be permitted into evidence.

CNN has previously reported that attorneys made the court aware of their intention to file the motion last Wednesday following the cross-examination of Rittenhouse. A mistrial with prejudice would mean there would be no chance for a retrial.

The motion also resurfaces a heated exchange between attorneys on Friday over a drone video, in which the state alleged Rittenhouse can be seen raising and pointing his weapon at a man near Joseph Rosenbaum. The state says this is what provoked Rosenbaum to start chasing Rittenhouse 

Defense attorneys say in their motion that they were given a compressed version of the drone video that was only 3.6MB, while the state had a higher resolution version that was 11.2MB. Schroeder told attorneys Friday he would let the jury decide on the video.  

Prosecutors have not filed a response and Schroeder told attorneys he would take the intent to file the mistrial motion under advisement last week. 

10:35 a.m. ET, November 17, 2021

What we know about the jury deliberating Kyle Rittenhouse's fate

From CNN's Eric Levenson and Brad Parks

Kyle Rittenhouse and his attorney Corey Chirafisi listen during the trial in Kenosha on November 11.
Kyle Rittenhouse and his attorney Corey Chirafisi listen during the trial in Kenosha on November 11. (Sean Krajacic/The Kenosha News/Pool/AP)

The jury in the Kyle Rittenhouse case is set to convene at 10 a.m. ET today for a second day of deliberations.

A group of 20 people — 11 women and nine men — were initially selected to serve on the jury on November 1 from a group of 179 prospective jurors. The jury selection consisted of just one day of voir dire in court without the use of background questionnaires.

Two people were dismissed from the jury during the course of the trial. One juror, a middle-aged man, was dismissed for telling a joke to a deputy about the police shooting of Blake, an incident that earned a rebuke from the judge. Another juror, a pregnant woman, was dismissed after experiencing discomfort and requesting to be dismissed, the judge said.

Eighteen jurors thus 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 will not participate in jury deliberations.

The remaining 12 jurors are made up of five men and seven women, according to a pool reporter in court. The jurors who were selected in the random drawing will serve as alternates. They were asked to remain at the courthouse while the jury deliberates the case.

9:40 a.m. ET, November 17, 2021

The jury was dismissed after a little over 8 hours yesterday

Day two of jury deliberations will begin soon in the Kyle Rittenhouse case.

Yesterday, deliberations started at 10:15 a.m. ET, 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 jury is due back at the courthouse at 10 a.m. ET today. It's not clear how long they'll deliberate today.

9:26 a.m. ET, November 17, 2021

These are the charges against Kyle Rittenhouse

From CNN's Ray Sanchez and Brad Parks

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

While we wait for the jury to assemble at 10 a.m. ET today, here's a look at the five felony counts against Rittenhouse.

Count 1: First-degree reckless homicide, use of a dangerous weapon

Count 1 states Rittenhouse recklessly caused the death of 36-year-old Joseph Rosenbaum under circumstances that showed utter disregard for human life.

Wisconsin law allows the use of deadly force only if "necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm."

Count 2: First-degree recklessly endangering safety, use of a dangerous weapon

Count 2 states Rittenhouse recklessly endangered the safety of Richard McGinniss — a journalist with the conservative Daily Caller — under circumstances that show utter disregard for human life.

Count 3: First-degree recklessly endangering safety, use of a dangerous weapon

Count 3 states Rittenhouse recklessly endangered the safety of an unknown male, referred to as "jump kick man" in court, under circumstances that show utter disregard for human life.

The man jumped at Rittenhouse at one point, trying to kick him and the teen opened fire. "I thought if I were to be knocked out, he would have stomped my face in if I didn't fire," he said. Rittenhouse fired at the man twice and missed.

Count 4: First-degree intentional homicide, use of a dangerous weapon

Count 4 states Rittenhouse caused the death of 26-year-old Anthony 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.

Prosecutors asked that the jury also be instructed on second-degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless homicide and second-degree reckless homicide.

Defense attorneys objected to second-degree reckless homicide. The judge said he "embraced" the defense's argument. But he will likely allow lesser charges of second-degree intentional homicide and first-degree reckless homicide.

Count 5: Attempted first-degree intentional homicide, use of a weapon

Count 5 states Rittenhouse attempted to cause the death of 27-year-old Gaige Grosskreutz, with intent to kill him.

After shooting Huber, Rittenhouse testified, he saw Grosskreutz lunge at him and point a pistol at his head. Rittenhouse shot him, he testified. Grosskreutz was wounded.

Grosskreutz testified he pulled out his own firearm because he believed Rittenhouse was an active shooter.

Prosecutors asked for lesser charges of attempted second-degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless endangerment and second-degree reckless endangerment. Schroeder said he was inclined to agree with the prosecution.

Remember: A misdemeanor weapons charge was dismissed by the judge as proceedings opened Monday morning.