By Dave Pulver
Closing arguments will be Monday after nine days in trial.
Kyle Rittenhouse now 18, was charged with the killing of Anthony Huber, 26, and Joseph Rosenbaum, 36 as well as wounding Gaige Grosskreutz, 27, in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Aug. 25, 2020. Rittenhouse then 17, traveled to Kenosha from Antioch, Illinois to attend a protest which was set off by the wounding of Jacob Blake who is Black by a White Police Officer.
Rittenhouse is charged with one count of first-degree reckless homicide; attempted first-degree reckless homicide; reckless endangering; and illegal possession of a weapon by a person under 18. The penalty for first-degree reckless homicide is punishable by up to 60 years in prison.
Rittenhouse testified that he had taken note of rioting associated with other Black Lives Matter protests elsewhere in the country and that he attended the protest to protect private property amid the rioting that he expected to occur.
According to testimony, Rittenhouse, a former Police Cadet who attended the protest armed with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle and first aid kit shot Joseph Rosenbaum first. The defense team argued that Rosenbaum chased Rittenhouse into a used car lot, cornered him, and put his hand on the barrel of his gun at which point Rittenhouse fired. Moments later, Rittenhouse fired at Anthony Huber, 26 after Huber swung at Rittenhouse with his skateboard. Huber died from his wounds.
Gaige Grosskreutz, 27 who was wounded by another shot fired by Rittenhouse after Grosskreutz approached Rittenhouse. Grosskreutz, a former paramedic armed with a pistol was there reportedly to render first aid. Grosskreutz admitted in his testimony that Rittenhouse did not fire until such time as he lowered his arms and approached Rittenhouse with his pistol.
The jurors in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial will be allowed to consider lesser charges if they opt to acquit him on some of the original counts’ prosecutors brought, the judge said Friday during a contentious hearing.
The Rittenhouse case quickly rose to national prominence as a bellwether for future gun rights decisions. Gun rights proponents view the case from a 2nd Amendment and self-defense perspective. The opposition sees the case through a racial lens and worries over vigilantism.
*Dave Pulver is a retired communications engineer of 35 years. His interests include aviation, motorcycling, civics, history, and politics.