Jury finds Kyle Rittenhouse NOT GUILTY of all charges in Kenosha shootings

Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted of all charges Friday after pleading self-defense in the deadly Kenosha shootings that became a flashpoint in the nation’s debate over guns and the Second Amendment.

The 18-year-old had been charged with homicide, attempted homicide and reckless endangering after killing two men and wounding a third with an AR-style semi-automatic rifle during a fiery night of protests in the summer of 2020.

The jury deliberated for close to 3 1/2 days.

Rittenhouse could have gotten life in prison if found guilty on the most serious charge, first-degree intentional homicide, or what some other states call first-degree murder.

As the verdict drew near, Gov. Tony Evers pleaded for calm and said 500 National Guard members would be ready for duty in Kenosha if needed.

Rittenhouse was 17 when he went from his home in Antioch, Illinois, to Kenosha after businesses in the city were ransacked and burned by Black Lives Matter rioters. He joined other armed citizens in an effort to protect property and provide medical aid.

Bystander and drone video captured most of the chain of events that followed: Rittenhouse killed Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, then shot dead Anthony Huber, 26, and wounded Gaige Grosskreutz, now 28.

Prosecutors portrayed Rittenhouse as a “wannabe soldier” who had gone looking for trouble that night and was responsible for creating a dangerous situation in the first place by pointing his rifle at demonstrators.

But Rittenhouse testified: “I didn’t do anything wrong. I defended myself.”

Video and testimony from some of the prosecution’s own witnesses seemed to buttress Rittenhouse’s claim of self-defense.

Witnesses described Rosenbaum as “hyperaggressive” and said that he dared others to shoot him and threatened to kill Rittenhouse earlier that night. A videographer testified Rosenbaum lunged for the rifle just before he was shot, and a pathologist said his injuries appeared to indicate his hand was over the barrel.

Immediately after the shootings, President Donald Trump said it appeared Rittenhouse had been “very violently attacked.” Supporters donated more than $2 million toward the teen’s legal defense.

Rittenhouse had also been charged with possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under 18, a misdemeanor. But Judge Bruce Schroeder threw out that charge before jury deliberations after the defense argued that the Wisconsin law did not apply to the long-barreled rifle used by Rittenhouse.

With the trial over, the jurors may finally hear about the lengthy criminal histories of Rosenbaum, Huber, and Grosskreutz. Among many cases before the night in question, Rosenbaum had been convicted of 11 sexual assaults on minors, including forcible sodomy. Huber has a conviction for domestic abuse. Grosskreutz also has a long rap sheet, including a charge for hitting his grandmother in the face.

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