Kyle Rittenhouse found not guilty on all charges

By Adrienne Vogt, Aditi Sangal, Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya and Melissa Mahtani, CNN

Updated 11:51 PM ET, Fri November 19, 2021
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9:58 p.m. ET, November 19, 2021

Rittenhouse attorney: "I did not approve" of Tucker Carlson crew embed with defense team

From CNN's Leinz Vales

Mark Richards, an attorney for Kyle Rittenhouse
Mark Richards, an attorney for Kyle Rittenhouse (CNN)

Mark Richards, an attorney for Kyle Rittenhouse, said Friday that he did not approve the Fox film crew that was embedded with the defense team during the trial.

“I threw them out of the room several times,” Richards told CNN. “I don't think a film crew is appropriate for something like this.”

“But the people who were raising the money to pay for the experts and to pay for the attorneys were trying to raise money," Richards added. "I don't want to say an evil, but a definite distraction was part of it. And I didn't approve of it. But I’m not always the boss.”

Some context: Washington Post media reporter Jeremy Barr tweeted a clip of what appears to be a special produced by Fox’s "Tucker Carson Originals."

9:47 p.m. ET, November 19, 2021

Attorney says Rittenhouse verdict is "deeply troubling"

From CNN’s Chris Boyette

Lee Merritt, an attorney for Ahmaud Arbery's mother
Lee Merritt, an attorney for Ahmaud Arbery's mother (CNN)

Lee Merritt, an attorney for Ahmaud Arbery's mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, told CNN Friday that the not guilty verdict handed down in the case of Kyle Rittenhouse, the teenager who killed two people and shot another during unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, was “deeply troubling” and “very scary” for Arbery's family as closing statements are expected Monday in the trial of three white men charged in Arbery’s killing.

“It is so similar. the Kyle Rittenhouse case was a case about vigilantism. this case is a case about vigilantism, and I’m hoping that the jury doesn't take the same course as the Rittenhouse jury,” Merritt said.

Rittenhouse was acquitted Friday of first-degree intentional homicide and four other felony charges.

Merritt said the US justice system historically doesn't work well when the assailants are white.

“There's a long history of racism that exists within our courts. It's a reality,” Merritt said, “It's a statistical reality that we see playing itself out.”

Some context: Attorneys in the Arbery murder trial are expected to begin closing arguments Monday after 10 days of court proceedings and testimony from more than 20 witnesses and investigators.

The defense rested its case Thursday, and lawyers and the judge were working in court Friday on what instructions to give to the jury.

8:41 p.m. ET, November 19, 2021

Here's what the jury verdict sheets in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse show

From CNN’s Jason Kravarik and Brad Parks

Kyle Rittenhouse, the teenager who killed two people and shot another during unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, was acquitted Friday of first-degree intentional homicide and four other felony charges.

Jury verdict sheets from the trial appear to give some insight into the jury's process of deliberation.

The sheets were filed with the Kenosha County Clerk of the Circuit Court. They show that the presiding juror in the case signed only two of the five "not guilty" verdicts today. The other three "not guilty" verdict sheets were dated Wednesday and Thursday.  

Juror 54, the presiding juror in the case, signed the “not guilty” verdict sheets for counts 1 and 2 today. Rittenhouse faced a charge of first-degree reckless homicide for fatally shooting Joseph Rosenbaum in count 1. Count 2 stated that Rittenhouse recklessly endangered the safety of Richard McGinnis, who was near Rittenhouse during the first shooting.

The presiding juror in the case, signed the "not guilty" verdict sheet for count 5, on Thursday. Rittenhouse was charged in count 5 with attempted first-degree intentional homicide for shooting Gaige Grosskreutz. 

Juror 54 signed the "not guilty" verdict sheets for counts 3 and 4 on Wednesday. Count 4, the most severe charge Rittenhouse faced, was first-degree intentional homicide for the fatal shooting of Anthony Huber. Rittenhouse was charged in count 3 with first-degree recklessly endangering the safety of an unknown man.

The 12-person jury deliberated for more than 25 hours over the course of four days. 

7:12 p.m. ET, November 19, 2021

Jacob Blake's uncle: "What was done today was heinous"

From CNN’s Raja Razek

Justin Blake
Justin Blake (WISN)

Following the verdict in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, Justin Blake, the uncle of Jacob Blake, said, "What was done today was heinous."

Rittenhouse, the teenager who killed two people and shot another during unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, was acquitted Friday of first-degree intentional homicide and four other felony charges.

Blake also discussed his nephew's case, saying he demands the case be reopened. 

"We're demanding that Jacob Blake's case be reopened," he said. 

Remember: A White officer shot Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, seven times while responding to a domestic incident on Aug. 23, 2020. Blake survived the shooting but was left paralyzed from the waist down.

His shooting sparked unrest in Kenosha.

7:07 p.m. ET, November 19, 2021

Rittenhouse verdict will embolden others, says Jacob Blake family attorney

From CNN's Josiah Ryan

Jacob Blake's family attorney B'Ivory LaMarr
Jacob Blake's family attorney B'Ivory LaMarr (CNN)

Kyle Rittenhouse's acquittal on all five counts sets a “dangerous precedent” that may embolden others, warned Jacob Blake's family attorney B'Ivory LaMarr, responding to the verdict today.

"I think this is a very, very dangerous precedent that has been set," said LaMarr when asked by CNN if he believed the verdict would embolden others to follow Rittenhouse's example.

LaMarr pointed to the shooting of Blake last summer, for which the White officer who shot him seven times in the back was never charged, saying the judicial system treats Black and White Americans differently.

"It's important that we have clear standards in being able to hold individuals accountable for engaging and provoking situations," he said. "I think that you don't see the same thing occur when it's African-Americans."

"I mean, hey, I hate to make this about race. But it is about race," he added.

5:19 p.m. ET, November 19, 2021

Joseph Rosenbaum's fiancée: "I feel like in this case, the victims' lives don't matter"

From CNN’s Raja Razek

Kariann Swart testifies during the trial in Kenosha on November 5.
Kariann Swart testifies during the trial in Kenosha on November 5. (Sean Krajacic/The Kenosha News/Pool/AP)

The fiancée of Joseph Rosenbaum, one of the men fatally shot by Kyle Rittenhouse, said, "I feel like in this case, the victims' lives don't matter."

"If one person's life or two persons’ lives don't matter, then none of our lives matter," Kariann Swart said while speaking to reporters following the verdict in the Rittenhouse trial. "And I feel like in this case, it feels like, the victims' lives don't matter. And I don't think that that is acceptable."
7:13 p.m. ET, November 19, 2021

Girlfriend of man shot by Rittenhouse calls the system "a failure"

From CNN’s Raja Razek

Hannah Gittings, the girlfriend of Anthony Huber, is escorted from the Kenosha County Courthouse after learning that Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted of all charges on November 19 in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Hannah Gittings, the girlfriend of Anthony Huber, is escorted from the Kenosha County Courthouse after learning that Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted of all charges on November 19 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Anthony Huber's girlfriend, Hannah Gittings, called the system "a failure" in remarks she made to the press following Kyle Rittenhouse's acquittal on all charges.

Huber was one of the men fatally shot by Rittenhouse.

"I don't think that any of us who were directly involved in what happened last year on the 25th are really that surprised. We know that this system is a failure," she said. "Personally, I am especially not surprised at the outcome of this verdict."

Some context: Huber, who was in the crowd of protesters with his girlfriend, was killed as Rittenhouse fled the scene of Joseph Rosenbaum's shooting, according to the complaint.

Huber had turned 26 just four days earlier, according to an obituary.

4:21 p.m. ET, November 19, 2021

Rittenhouse family spokesperson says verdict "was expected"

From CNN’s Raja Razek

David Hancock, Rittenhouse family spokesman
David Hancock, Rittenhouse family spokesman (WBBM)

Kyle Rittenhouse's family spokesperson told CNN affiliate WBBM that the verdict in the trial was "expected," adding that Rittenhouse and his family are in an undisclosed location. 

"I say that was expected because we know who Kyle is, and we know what was in his heart and what was in his head, and we know the facts of this case. But, of course everybody was really anxious because at the end of the day, you just, you ultimately don't know what a jury is thinking," spokesperson David Hancock said.

Hancock also said he believed that "the jury was thoughtful and they understood the gravity of this decision." 

"Now, the goal is going to be to ensure Kyle's safety as he moves on as a 18-year-old young man in college studying to be a nurse," Hancock said. "Those are his plans moving forward."

As for the Rittenhouse family, Hancock said, "They are doing well right now. they're in an undisclosed location and they are, they are a family and everybody is just ecstatic."

Asked about the call for protests following today's verdict, Hancock said, "The family calls for calm. Calls for calm. I mean, this was not an injustice."

"What I would say is, this is an inflection point, I think, for the country to look at the way things have been handled. Things have gone off the rails in relation to who Kyle is and why he was down here. It's never been about politics. It's not about race. This is about a young man who fled and felt as if his life was in danger and defended himself," he added. 

3:51 p.m. ET, November 19, 2021

How lawyers for 2 of the men Rittenhouse shot are responding to the acquittal

From CNN's Sara Sidner

Kimberley Motley and Milo Schwab, attorneys for Gaige Grosskreutz and the estate of Joseph Rosenbaum, asked for "peace from everyone hurting" following the acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse.

Rosenbaum was killed and Grosskreutz was injured in the August 2020 shooting.

"Today we grieve for the families of those slain by Kyle Rittenhouse," Motley and Schwab said in a statement.

Here's the full statement: 

"Anthony Huber and Joseph Rosenbaum did not deserve to die that night. For now, we ask for peace from everyone hurting and that the public respect the privacy of the victims and their families. That night in Kenosha, Gaige Grosskreutz, Anthony Huber, and many others acted heroically. They did not seek violence, but to end violence. What we need right now is justice, not more violence. While today's verdict may mean justice delayed, it will not mean justice denied. We are committed to uncovering the truth of that night and holding those responsible to account."