Who’s Who in the Kyle Rittenhouse Courtroom

A rundown of the key figures for the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse in Kenosha, Wis.,

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Here’s a guide to who’s who in the Rittenhouse courtroom.

Nov. 18, 2021, 8:12 a.m. ET

Nov. 18, 2021, 8:12 a.m. ET

Judge Bruce Schroeder, right, and Kyle Rittenhouse listen to the defense lawyer Mark Richards.
Judge Bruce Schroeder, right, and Kyle Rittenhouse listen to the defense lawyer Mark Richards.Credit…Pool photo by Mark Hertzberg

Here is a rundown of the key figures in the courtroom for the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse in Kenosha, Wis.

Mr. Rittenhouse faces five felony counts in connection with the shooting deaths of two men and the wounding of a third during protests and unrest in Kenosha in August 2020. The most serious charge he faces, intentional homicide, carries a life sentence.

The Defendant

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Kyle RittenhouseCredit…Pool photo by Sean Krajacic
  • Kyle Rittenhouse was 17 in August 2020, and was living with his mother, Wendy Rittenhouse, in an apartment in Antioch, Ill., a half-hour drive from Kenosha, where his father lives.

  • His social media posts indicated support for Blue Lives Matter and an ambition to work in law enforcement. He joined a cadet program for teenagers who want to be police officers.

  • On the evening of the shootings, Mr. Rittenhouse was armed with a military-style semiautomatic rifle, and joined a group of armed people who said they were there to protect businesses.

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Credit…Pool photo by Sean Krajacic
  • Bruce Schroeder, 75, is the longest-serving circuit court judge in Wisconsin, and is known for running a strict courtroom.

  • He graduated from Marquette University Law School in 1970 and worked as a prosecutor before becoming a circuit judge in 1983.

  • Because self-defense is an issue at the trial, Judge Schroeder ordered that the term “victim” could not be used to refer to the people who were shot.

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Credit…Pool photo by Sean Krajacic
  • The lead prosecutor is Thomas Binger, a Kenosha County assistant district attorney.

  • Mr. Binger has been a prosecutor in the county for seven years. Before that, he was a lawyer in private practice, and earlier in his career was an assistant district attorney in Milwaukee County, according to an online resume. He ran unsuccessfully for district attorney in neighboring Racine County in 2016.

  • He has clashed with Judge Schroeder several times during pretrial hearings and the trial.

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Mark Richards and Corey ChirafisiCredit…Pool photo by Mark Hertzberg
  • Mr. Rittenhouse’s lead lawyer is Mark Richards, 59, a veteran criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor. He primarily represents people accused of violent crimes or drug crimes.

  • He joined Mr. Rittenhouse’s defense team in September 2020, and took charge of the defense in January 2021, replacing John Pierce.

  • Another lawyer on the defense team is Corey Chirafisi, a former prosecutor based in Madison, Wis.

  • Twenty people — 11 women and nine men — were selected to hear the case, from a pool of about 150 prospective jurors. Two of the 20 were excused early in the trial.

  • Six of the remaining jurors were excused as alternates on Tuesday, a day after closing arguments. The final group of 12 jurors — seven women and five men — then began deliberating to try to reach verdicts on the five counts in the trial.

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