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Rittenhouse jurors to return for Day 2 of deliberations

Rittenhouse jurors to return for Day 2 of deliberations


Rittenhouse jurors to return for Day 2 of deliberations

KENOSHA, Wis. — Jurors weighing charges against Kyle Rittenhouse were to return Wednesday for a second day of deliberations in his murder trial, after they failed to reach a swift verdict on whether he had the right to defend himself against three people who attacked him during a night of anti-police rioting in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

The jury of 12 deliberated for a full day Tuesday without reaching a decision. Several appeared tired as they walked into the courtroom Tuesday evening and indicated with a show of hands that they were ready to go home.

Rittenhouse, 18, faces life in prison if convicted as charged for using an AR-style semi-automatic rifle to kill two men and wound a third during a night of rioting.

Rittenhouse testified he acted in self-defense, while prosecutors argued he provoked the violence. Video used by both the prosecution and the defense lawyers during the trial seemed to support the self-defense argument.

The jury appeared to be overwhelmingly white. Prospective jurors were not asked to identify their race during the selection process, and the court did not provide a racial breakdown.

As the jury deliberated, dozens of protesters — some for Rittenhouse, some against — stood outside the courthouse. Some talked quietly with those on the other side, while others shouted insults. One woman could be heard repeatedly calling some Rittenhouse supporters “white supremacists.” Rittenhouse is white as were the three people he shot.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, who faced criticism over his response to the Kenosha protests in 2020, urged calm as the jury deliberated. He announced last week that 500 members of the National Guard would stand ready for duty in Kenosha if needed.

“Regardless of the outcome in this case, I urge peace in Kenosha and across our state,” Evers tweeted. He added: “I ask all those who choose to assemble and exercise their First Amendment rights in every community to do so safely and peacefully.”

The large protests that some had anticipated did not materialize during the trial’s testimony phase. On most days, only a few demonstrators gathered on the courthouse steps, and the high fence that protected the building during last year’s unrest is gone.

Rittenhouse was 17 when he went to Kenosha from his home in Antioch, Illinois, in what he said was an effort to protect property from rioters who destroyed or damaged dozens of businesses and carried out other property damage.

In a fast-moving series of clashes in the streets, Rittenhouse shot and killed Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, and wounded Gaige Grosskreutz, now 28.

Rittenhouse testified that Rosenbaum chased him down and made a grab for his rifle, causing him to fear the weapon was going to be used against him. His account of Rosenbaum’s behavior was largely corroborated by video and some of the prosecution’s own witnesses.

As for Huber, he was gunned down after he was seen on video hitting Rittenhouse with a skateboard. And Grosskreutz admitted he had his own gun pointed at Rittenhouse when he was shot.