Kyle Rittenhouse was found not guilty of all charges in the shootings of three individuals in August 2020, two of whom were killed. Attorneys for the teen claimed that the teen fired in self-defense.
As the not guilty verdict was read Friday, Rittenhouse, 18, sobbed and hugged his attorney. The adolescent had been charged with five counts, including first-degree intentional homicide, which carries a life sentence.
Over the course of two weeks, the jury, which was made up of seven women and five men, debated for three and a half days and heard from more than 30 witnesses.
The trial’s senior prosecutor, Thomas Binger, stated, “While we are upset by the decision, we must accept it. The jury members deserve praise for their thorough and serious discussions.”
Rittenhouse, then 17 years old, went to Kenosha during the protests that erupted after police shot and wounded Jacob Blake. He stated that he intended to assist in the protection of local businesses and the provision of first aid. Rittenhouse entered the gathering with an AR-15 style weapon and shot three individuals, killing Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber and wounding Gaige Grosskreutz.
Huber’s family released a statement expressing their “heartbreak and anger” over the conviction.
“As a result of today’s decision, the individual who murdered our son is no longer held accountable. It sends the unacceptably dangerous message that armed citizens can appear in any town, provoke chaos, and then use the threat they’ve generated to justify shooting people in the street “they stated
Rittenhouse and his lawyers contended at trial that he only fired in self-defense, while the prosecution presented him as the aggressor. The prosecutors have the burden of proof, in this case, to show that the shooting was not justified.
When Rittenhouse took the stand in his own defense, the trial heated up. When his attorneys questioned him about why he fatally shot Rosenbaum, he burst into tears. Rittenhouse stated, “I didn’t do anything illegal; I was defending myself.”
Prosecutors contested the defense’s claim of self-defense during closing arguments, telling the jury that Rittenhouse was an aggressor, a liar, and an “active shooter” who did not face a threat of serious bodily injury or death that night. Instead, the state claimed that Rittenhouse was the one who started the fight and put others in danger.
“The jury system works, and we have to follow it,” Biden says.
President Biden said he stands behind the jurors in Kenosha who found Kyle Rittenhouse not guilty on all counts as he returned to the White House from Walter Reed Hospital this afternoon.
“Look, I stand by the jury’s decision. The jury system works, and we must follow it “Mr. Biden stated the following.
By CLARE HYMES