On Tuesday, with a prosecuting attorney depicting the teenager as a trouble-seeking active shooter to oppose defense arguments he shot three men, in self-defense, among three two died, the future of Kyle Rittenhouse will be deliberated by a Wisconsin jury after listening to the severely various theses of the same witness.
After hearing closing arguments in the high-profile trial and receiving instructions of more than 30 pages from Judge Bruce Schroeder, the Kenosha County Circuit Court jury was sent home for the night.
The jury has been told by Judge Schroeder that on Tuesday they will start deliberating following 12 panelists among, who heard witnesses in the homicide matter are randomly chosen for deciding Rittenhouse’s future.
During the protest of 25th August 2020 in Kenosha, 17 years old Rittenhouse was armed with an AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle having 30-round ammunition clip during the moment he shot and murdered 36 years old Anthony Huber and 36 years old Joseph Rosenbaum and critically injured Gaige Grosskreutz who is 27 years old.
Rittenhouse witnessed that all three men were shot by him in self-defense during the trial which started on 2nd November since during the demonstration over the police shooting of 29 years old Black man, Jacob Blake, who then suffered paralysis, they as well as others purportedly swamped him.
Now Rittenhouse, 18, has proved to be not guilty to accusations of first-degree murder, first-degree planned murder, attempted first-degree intentional homicide, and two counts of first-degree recklessly jeopardizing security.
Closing Argument by the Prosecution
Right after the jury gave instructions, prosecutor Thomas Binger started to provide his summary by telling the jury, “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.”
Binger said “This isn’t a situation where he was protecting his home or his family,” adding further “He killed people after traveling here from Antioch, Illinois, and staying out after a citywide curfew.”
Binger then got into elaboration about the first murder on 25th August’s night last year, in Kenosha, the prosecutor states by showing the video to the jury which indicates that Rittenhouse triggered the dreadful encounter and killed Rosenbaum.
With Rittenhouse, a fire extinguisher in their left hand, he sat down and aimed his gun at Rosenbaum and others, Binger said. In a dramatic portrayal, at the courtroom gallery with a water bottle in their left hand as if it were the fire extinguisher, Binger sat down and raised the semiautomatic rifle which is being used in the shootings.
Binger said “That is what provokes this entire incident. And one of the things to keep in mind is that when the defendant provokes the incident, he loses the right to self-defense,” adding “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 jury has been asked by the prosecutor to closely watch the shooting video of Rosenbaum, highlighting that his hands have been held up by Rosenbaum since he started to run after Rittenhouse and claimed the teenager’s affirmation that he has already knowledge of the man being unarmed.
While playing the video of the shooting several times Binger said “Mr. Rosenbaum is not even within arm’s reach when the first shot occurs.”
The encounter between Rosenbaum and Rittenhouse was explained by Binger just like a “bar fight,” even showing an image of Patrick Swayze in the movie “Roadhouse,” to the jury in which the actor was playing the role of a bar bouncer saving a small town from a corrupt businessman.
Binger said “This is a fight that maybe many of you have been involved in,” citing the encounter between Rittenhouse and Rosenbaum. “Two people, hand to hand. We’re throwing punches, we’re pushing, we’re shoving, we’re whatever. But what you don’t do is you don’t bring a gun to a fistfight.”
After Rittenhouse shot Rosenbaum, he fled away without even trying to get him first aid, Binger said. He stated that the remaining people in the crowd had a valid reason to run after Rittenhouse as they wanted to catch him.
Binger said, “At that point, the crowd is dealing with 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?”
He stated those running after Rittenhouse had taken the “least intrusive means possible” to catch the gunman.
A video has been shown by Binger in which Rittenhouse knocked down a street and with a skateboard, Huber hit him twice, the second time later which he claimed the gunman imbalanced on his own and knocked to the floor.
Rittenhouse fired twice at an unknown unarmed man without even considering once about the crowd nearby and reportedly the man had punched him in the face before he brutally shot Huber straight in the chest, Binger said.
The prosecutor said that Grosskreutz, armed with a pistol when tried to disarm Rittenhouse he got shot in the right bicep. Binger said “Gaige Grosskreutz had his gun in his hand. He could have aimed and fired at the defendant, but he did not.”
He claimed that all night he lied to people that he was a trained EMT, but despite that, he never tried to get help for the people he injured by shooting.
Binger said about Rittenhouse “This is someone who has no remorse, no regard for life, only cares about himself.”
While concluding the argument, Binger said by telling the jury to step in Rittenhouse’s shoes once questioning if a “reasonable person” would ever respond similarly.
Binger said “I submit to you that no reasonable person would have done what the defendant did. And that makes your decision easy,” adding “He’s guilty of all counts.”
Defense Presents Argument
While starting closing arguments, Mark Richards, Rittenhouse’s attorney accused the prosecution of lying and misinterpreting proof and he explained the case as a “rush to judgment.”
He stated that while the investigators were still interrogating with witnesses and gathering proof, Rittenhouse was already taken into custody and accused with homicide charges in under 48 hours of the shooting.
Richards said “Ladies and gentlemen, this case is not a game. It is my client’s life,” adding “We don’t play fast and loose with the facts, pretending that Mr. Rosenbaum was citizen A, No. 1 guy. He was a bad man. He was there. He was causing trouble. He was a rioter. And my client had to deal with him that night alone.”
Richards bashed Binger for rolling up the theses of Rittenhouse encouraging the initial shooting by presumably aiming his gun at Rosenbaum and others, arguing that the prosecutor showed up with that “when his case exploded in his face.”
He referred to a video displaying Rittenhouse escaping from Rosenbaum following he stated that Rosenbaum trapped him, banged a bag at him, and ran after him continuously when the teenager pointed his gun at him.
Referring to the testimony of prosecution witnesses who verified that Rosenbaum, who he claimed was taking medication due to mental illness had given threats of killing Rittenhouse and others if he ever got them alone, on this prosecutor Binger stated these are not detected on video opposing that this never occurred.
Richards said “Ladies and gentlemen, when my client shot Joseph Rosenbaum, he feared for his life,” adding “He feared because of the prior threats, the prior statements and the violent acts that had been witnessed by my client.”
Further, it has been added by Richards “Kyle shot Joseph Rosenbaum to stop a threat to his person. And I’m glad he shot him because if Joseph Rosenbaum had gotten that gun, I don’t for a minute believe he wouldn’t have used it against somebody else. He was irrational and crazy.”
Richards criticized Binger’s explanation about Rittenhouse as an “active shooter.”
Richards said “Kyle was not an active shooter. That is a buzzword that the state wants to latch onto because it excuses the actions of that mob on the 25th of (August) 2020.”
He stated that following Rittenhouse shooting Rosenbaum, he was taking reasonable steps by rushing to inform the police about whatever had happened only to be punched in the face by an unidentified man and swamped by Huber with a skateboard.
Richards argued that Grosskreutz was shot as he was armed with a gun and running after Rittenhouse and was “going to shoot my client.”
Richards further said “Unfortunately, my client shot him first. If he (Grosskreutz) had retreated, it’s over.”
Richards told the jury that Rittenhouse was under no obligation to testify, yet he did because he wanted the “jurors to hear his personal experience on the night” of the shootings.
“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,” Richards said. “And he did.”
Richards explained the lawsuit against Rittenhouse as a “political case.”
Richards said “We can take politics out of it as in Democrat and Republican, but the district attorney’s office is marching forward with this case because they need somebody to be responsible, they need somebody to put (forth) and say we did it, he’s the person who brought terror to Kenosha,” adding “Kyle Rittenhouse is not that individual.”
The Prosecution’s Countering the Argument
Prosecutor James Kraus started his countering argument to the defense by confronting Richards’ claim that for Rosenbaum, Rittenhouse was a threat.
Kraus told the jury “It cannot be reasonable for someone to be holding an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle with powerful ammunition and be chased by someone unarmed, who is smaller than him, who is shorter than him, and the first thing that you do to defend yourself is you plug four rounds into him.”
The initial four shots disabled Rosenbaum by smashing his hip and the injured man collapsed to the pavement he said.
Kraus said “No one is saying that Mr. Rosenbaum should have chased Mr. Rittenhouse. No one is saying that Mr. Rittenhouse did not have a right to defend himself,” adding “This case is about the right to use deadly force.”
He stated that no proof was presented there that the unarmed Rosenbaum was a threat to Rittenhouse and could even take his life with his bare hands.
Kraus said “Mr. Rittenhouse has size on him. We heard about how he’s a swimmer, we heard that he’s a lifeguard, he’s appeared in some kind of shape. Punch him (Rosenbaum) in the face, kick him in the testicles, knee him in the face, hit him with your gun.”
He further continued “You don’t just immediately get to shoot someone. It is not reasonable for any adult, for any person, for any 17-year-old male to not try and defend yourself first using other methods,” adding “Why do you have to keep tracking him and shooting him and ending up with a kill shot in the back?”
Jury Allowed to Consider for Lesser Charges
Schroeder has instructed the jury before the closing argument that they will be entitled to deliberate lesser charges against Rittenhouse in case the team believes that the prosecution couldn’t succeed in meeting its burden of proving the original accusations.
On Monday, the judge also provided a defense motion for dismissing an accusation of possessing a hazardous weapon by a person who is under 18 later the prosecution accepted that the rifle that has been used by Rittenhouse while shooting failed to meet the mandatory standard of a short-barreled rifle according to law.