Jurors Await Closing Arguments in Kyle Rittenhouse Trial
The prosecution and defense are each allotted two and a half hours on Monday to convince jurors whether Mr. Rittenhouse was legally justified in shooting three men in Kenosha, Wis.,
Closing arguments in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, the teenager who shot three people in the aftermath of demonstrations in Kenosha, Wis., in August 2020, are scheduled for Monday, after which the jury will begin to deliberate. The proceedings are scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Eastern time, and The Times will add the live feed to this page.
The facts are not in dispute in the trial, which centers on whether Mr. Rittenhouse was reasonable in his belief that shooting the three men was necessary to save himself from death or serious injury. The prosecution has tried to persuade jurors that Mr. Rittenhouse was an armed interloper who instigated the shootings by his very presence among protesters.
Each side will be given two and a half hours to make a closing argument and a rebuttal. For nearly two weeks, jurors heard witnesses, including Mr. Rittenhouse, testify about what happened on Aug. 25, 2020.
That night, Mr. Rittenhouse traveled to downtown Kenosha, which had been swept up in protests that included looting and arson after a white police officer, Rusten Sheskey, shot Jacob Blake, a Black resident. (Prosecutors declined to bring charges against Officer Sheskey.) Mr. Rittenhouse has said he went to protect property and provide medical treatment, but things quickly got violent after someone near him fired a gun.
Within a few chaotic minutes, Mr. Rittenhouse had killed two men, Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber, and wounded a third, Gaige Grosskreutz.
On Monday, the prosecution and the defense will get a final chance to convince jurors whether his actions were legally justified.
The prosecution has argued that Mr. Rittenhouse created the danger by patrolling a volatile protest while armed with a military-style semiautomatic rifle that he was too young to buy himself. Driving 30 minutes from his home in Antioch, Ill., prosecutors have said, shows that he was intent on committing violence.
“Hundreds of people were out in the street experiencing chaos and violence,” Thomas Binger, a district attorney, said in his opening statement. “And the only person who killed anyone was the defendant, Kyle Rittenhouse.”
Witnesses called by the prosecution offered testimony that was favorable to the prosecution’s case in some moments and to the defense’s in others. One witness said he thought his life was in danger and emotionally described trying to save Mr. Rosenbaum’s life, but he also described seeing Mr. Rosenbaum chase Mr. Rittenhouse.
Mr. Rittenhouse has been charged with six criminal counts, including first-degree reckless homicide, first-degree intentional homicide and attempted first-degree intentional homicide. The jury will weigh these charges and may also consider lesser charges if they are approved by the judge.
The defense has claimed that the shootings were in self-defense: Mr. Rosenbaum had reached for Mr. Rittenhouse’s gun, according to one witness, and was captured on video pursuing him. Mr. Huber hit Mr. Rittenhouse with a skateboard. “This wasn’t him taking potshots at looters,” Corey Chirafisi, a lawyer for Mr. Rittenhouse, said in a court hearing.
On the witness stand on Wednesday, Mr. Rittenhouse sobbed and gulped for air while he described his fear that night. “I didn’t do anything wrong,” he said, explaining why he had fired his gun eight times. “I defended myself.”
The 12-person jury is expected to begin its deliberations following Monday’s closing statements.