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Jury has questions for judge amid day 2 of deliberations in Rittenhouse case

Randy Mancini 31 November 17, 2021
Kyle Rittenhouse peers at the screen as attorneys for both sides argue about a video during Rittenhouse's trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wis., on Friday, Nov. 12, 2021. Rittenhouse is accused of killing two people and wounding a third during a protest over police brutality in Kenosha, last year. (Mark Hertzberg /Pool Photo via AP)

Kyle Rittenhouse peers at the screen as attorneys for both sides argue about a video during Rittenhouse’s trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wis., on Friday, Nov. 12, 2021. Rittenhouse is accused of killing two people and wounding a third during a protest over police brutality in Kenosha, last year. (Mark Hertzberg /Pool Photo via AP)

The second day of jury deliberations are underway in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial as the defense faces a new challenge in court. The fate of Rittenhouse lies in the hands of 12 jurors who were selected Tuesday and are set to deliberate the case. This comes after the judge dismissed a misdemeanor weapons charge against the 18-year-old on Monday.

Judge Bruce Shroeder welcomed the jury back into the courtroom Wednesday after they asked the judge about rewatching key footage relevant to the case. The judge allowed them to view the drone footage again despite Rittenhouse’s attorney challenging the decision, arguing the video is the subject of his motion to dismiss the trial with prejudice. The judge also slammed the media for “grossly irresponsible handling” of the trial.

Prosecutors previously delivered a message to the jury, claiming Rittenhouse provoked the shooting last year. Defense attorneys countered by detailing how Rittenhouse was attacked and acted in self-defense during violent Black Lives Matter riots.

“Kyle shot Joseph Rosenbaum to stop a threat to his person and I’m glad he shot him because if Joseph Rosenbaum had got that gun, I don’t for a minute believe he wouldn’t have used it against somebody else,” stated Defense attorney Mark Richards. “He was irrational and crazy.”

Rittenhouse has maintained that he did nothing wrong and acted in self-defense. During his earlier testimony, 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.

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.”

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 the August 2020 riots. 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.

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.

Protesters confront each other outside the Kenosha County Courthouse, Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021, in Kenosha, Wis., during the Kyle Rittenhouse murder trial. Rittenhouse is accused of killing two people and wounding a third during a protest over police brutality in Kenosha, last year. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Protesters confront each other outside the Kenosha County Courthouse, Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021, in Kenosha, Wis., during the Kyle Rittenhouse murder trial. Rittenhouse is accused of killing two people and wounding a third during a protest over police brutality in Kenosha, last year. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Ahead of the verdict, authorities in Kenosha are preparing for possible unrest with around 500 National Guardsmen deployed just outside the city. Gov. Tony Evers (D) announced the troops would support local law enforcement if needed. Evers urged those choosing to assemble to do so safely and peacefully.

Meanwhile, a crowd has gathered outside the courthouse as the city prepares for possible unrest when the jury reaches a verdict.

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