A Wisconsin jury on Monday will hear closing arguments in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, the teenager who shot three protesters — two of them fatally — in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last August amid at times violent demonstrations against racism and police brutality.
Rittenhouse (18), faces charges that range from first-degree intentional homicide — which carries a life sentence — to weapons charges that could land him in jail for several months if convicted.
Late last week Judge Bruce Schroeder suggested that jurors might consider a handful lesser chargesIf they decide to acquit Rittenhouse from the more serious charges. Schroeder will give the final rules to Rittenhouse’s jury Monday morning.
The trial, which lasted approximately two weeks, attracted national attention. Several issues that continue to divide the country — guns, policing and race — play a significant role in the case.
Rittenhouse was 17 years old when he traveled from Illinois to Kenosha in August last year as protests erupted following the shooting of Jacob Blake, an African-American man, by police.
Rittenhouse was motivated to arm himself in order to protect local businesses from potential looting and property damage. Although he was not allowed to openly carry a firearm due to his age, Rittenhouse stated that he felt the need for protection.
Rittenhouse claims he only fired the weapon in self defense. In testifying on his own behalfRittenhouse stated last week that he wasn’t “looking for trouble” when he arrived in Kenosha and that he didn’t intend to kill the people he shot.
Gaige Grosskreutz (the one he shot) has stated during the trial that during the incident he was armed.
After closing arguments on Monday are over, the jury will move into deliberations.
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers called already on the Wisconsin Gov. Wisconsin National GuardIn anticipation of possible unrest within the city, to aid local law enforcement