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National Guard activated ahead of Kyle Rittenhouse verdict

Randy Mancini 40 November 13, 2021
KENOSHA, WISCONSIN - NOVEMBER 12: Kyle Rtttenhouse looks back as attorneys argue about the charges that will be presented to the jury during proceedings at the Kenosha County Courthouse on November 12, 2021 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Rittenhouse is accused of shooting three demonstrators, killing two of them, during a night of unrest that erupted in Kenosha after a police officer shot Jacob Blake seven times in the back while being arrested in August 2020. Rittenhouse, from Antioch, Illinois, was 17 at the time of the shooting and armed with an assault rifle. He faces counts of felony homicide and felony attempted homicide. (Photo by Sean Krajacic-Pool/Getty Images)

KENOSHA, WISCONSIN – NOVEMBER 12: Kyle Rtttenhouse looks back as attorneys argue about the charges that will be presented to the jury during proceedings at the Kenosha County Courthouse on November 12, 2021 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. (Photo by Sean Krajacic-Pool/Getty Images)

Kyle Rittenhouse stood his ground, saying he did nothing wrong and acted in self-defense. During his testimony Wednesday, the 18-year-old outlined the events of August 24 and 25. He explained what he was doing in Kenosha, Wisconsin on those days and the events leading up to him using a weapon.

Rittenhouse first took questions from his own counsel. He recalled hearing a gunshot fired behind him, being chased by what he described as a mob, but then broke down when attempting to explain the events leading to him firing his first shot.

#KyleRittenhouse – As Rittenhouse begins to describe Rosenbaum running toward him, he breaks down on the stand. The judge had to call for a 10 min break. @LawCrimeNetwork pic.twitter.com/ThClSE8JpJ

— Cathy Russon (@cathyrusson) November 10, 2021

The prosecution was given a chance to ask Rittenhouse their questions, but on several occasions stepped out of line. This forced the judge to send the jury out of the room.

Judge Bruce Schroeder was shocked at the state’s attempts to reintroduce evidence originally rejected by the court and that prosecutor Thomas Binger questioned Rittenhouse’s decision to remain silent after the shooting.

“I was astonished when you began your examination by commenting on the defendant’s post arrest silence,” stated the Judge. “That’s basic law, it’s been the basic law in this country for forty years, fifty years. I have no idea why you would do something like that. Well, I’ll leave it at that. So I don’t know what you’re up to.”

Rittenhouse faces a life sentence if convicted of the more serious of the six charges against him. Defense attorneys outlined their case for self-defense during opening arguments in the trial with both sides delivering remarks to the 11 women and nine men who will decide the teen’s fate.

Rittenhouse has been accused of killing two people and wounding a third during Black Lives Matter riots in August of 2020. Experts say under Wisconsin law, Rittenhouse has a strong self-defense case and prosecutors will have to convince the jury he forfeited that claim after showing up with a weapon.

Prosecutors argue Rittenhouse was the aggressor during last year’s incident and had no justification for the shooting. However, defense lawyers say Rittenhouse was attacked by a mob and did what he could to survive.

“Kyle Rittenhouse protected himself, protected his firearm so it couldn’t be taken, used against him or other people,” said Mark Richards, attorney for Rittenhouse. “From Mr. Rosenbaum who had made threats to kill and the other individuals, who didn’t see that shooting, attacked him in the street like an animal. Ladies and gentlemen, that’s what the evidence will show.”

A witness and only surviving shooting victim wounded by Rittenhouse said he was pointing his own at the defendant prior to being shot. While on trial, 27-year-old Gaige Grosskreutz said he thought Rittenhouse was an active shooter and thought he was going to die. Grosskreutz admitted it wasn’t until he pointed his gun at Rittenhouse and advanced on him that Rittenhouse fired off his own gun.

During jury selection, the judge warned jurors of “irresponsible and deliberately biased” media coverage surrounding the case. The judge noted their decision can not be influenced by politics.

As Rittenhouse’s verdict nears, hundreds of Wisconsin National guard troops have been activated.

Gov. Tony Evers announced Friday that about 500 Guardsmen would be on standby in Kenosha, Wisconsin next week to support local law enforcement if needed. Evers urged people not from the area to reconsider their travel plans and for those choosing to assemble to do so safely and peacefully.

The 18-year-old defendant faces a possible life sentence on one count of first-degree intentional homicide for the death of Anthony Huber. The defense rested its case Thursday and closing arguments are expected Monday.

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