The verdict is in for the Kyle Rittenhouse case. According to the Associated Press and CBS News, the jury in Kenosha, Wisconson found Rittenhouse not guilty on all charges, including first-degree intentional homicide. Rittenhouse, 18, was facing life in prison if convicted.
Rittenhouse was accused of killing two men and wounding a third with a rifle during a night of protests that erupted in Kenosha in the summer of 2020 after a Black man, Jacob Blake, was shot by a White police officer, Rittenhouse said he acted in self-defense, while the prosecution argued he instigated the violence. The men who were killed were Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber. Gaige Grosskreutz was the man that was wounded.
"I didn't do anything wrong, I was defending myself," Rittenhouse said while on the stand last week. He broke into tears when his attorneys questioned him about why he fatally shot Rosenbaum. He said he believed that Rosenbaum would have taken his gun and shot him.
"There was no threatening behavior that started this. Mr. Rosenbaum was hell-bent on causing trouble that night," defense attorney Mark Richards said. "But Kyle Rittenhouse's behavior was protected under the law of the state of Wisconsin." Rittenhouse, who is from Illinois, testified that he was in Kenosha to help protect local businesses and provide first aid. He was armed with an AR-15 style rifle on the night of Aug. 25, 2020, and ended up in the midst of the crowd before shooting the three men. Rittenhouse, who was 17, at the time, left the city and returned to Illinois before being extradited to Wisconsin after his arrest a month later.
The jury was made up of five men and seven women and had been deliberating since Tuesday morning. Once the verdict was revealed Judge Bruce Schroeder told the jury, as mentioned by CNN: "All of you – I couldn't have asked for a better jury to work with, and it has truly been my pleasure. I think without commenting on your verdict... the verdict themselves, just in terms of your attentiveness and the cooperation that you gave to us justifies the confidence that the founders of our country placed in you," When Rittenhouse heard was acquitted of all the charges, he began the cry and collapsed in his chair.