Jury begins deliberations in Rittenhouse trial

By Mike Hayes, Aditi Sangal, Adrienne Vogt, Meg Wagner and Melissa Macaya, CNN

Updated 0046 GMT (0846 HKT) November 17, 2021
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1:58 p.m. ET, November 16, 2021

Kyle Rittenhouse's mom says she is "beyond nervous" as jury deliberations continue

From CNN’s Sara Sidner and Carma Hassan

Wendy Rittenhouse, right, speaks with the defense's jury expert Jo-Ellan Dimitrious before the start of the day's proceedings in Kenosha on Monday.
Wendy Rittenhouse, right, speaks with the defense's jury expert Jo-Ellan Dimitrious before the start of the day's proceedings in Kenosha on Monday. (Mark Hertzberg/Pool/AP)

Wendy Rittenhouse issued a message on behalf of the Kyle Rittenhouse Defense Fund Tuesday as the jury in her son's case continued deliberations.

“Both the prosecution and my son Kyle's defense team have finished their closing arguments and I am beyond nervous,” she wrote in the email. 

In the email, she asked for donations to pay for legal costs. Legal costs for the month of November are expected to be $110,000, Wendy Rittenhouse wrote. 

“We have been fighting an extremely uphill battle from the beginning, but with the support of thousands of our fellow Americans we have put up a big fight,” she said. 

Jurors began deliberations earlier today in Kyle Rittenhouse's homicide trial, a day after the prosecution and defense offered dueling assessments of his actions last year during unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

The final 12-person jury panel is made up of five men and seven women, according to a pool reporter in court.

12:36 p.m. ET, November 16, 2021

Rittenhouse jury asks judge for extra copies of jury instructions

From CNN's Brad Parks

Jurors in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse have asked the judge for extra copies of the jury instructions, specifically pages 1 through 6.

In this case, attorneys from both sides did arrive, until the clerk learned the simplicity of the question, according to the courtroom pool reporter. The matter was not seen on courtroom pool cameras.

The jury was provided 11 additional copies, according to the courtroom pool reporter.  

Pages 2 through 3 of the jury instructions focus on the self-defense and provocation instructions. Page 4 of the jury instructions focuses on crimes requiring intent to kill. Pages 5 and 6 focus on the first count of first-degree reckless homicide for the fatal shooting of Joseph Rosenbaum.

Jurors began deliberating at 10:15 a.m. ET on Tuesday.

12:07 p.m. ET, November 16, 2021

A CNN legal analyst explains what happens when a jury begins deliberations

From CNN's Elise Hammond

(CNN)
(CNN)

The 12 jurors selected to deliberate the case and reach a verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial have been instructed on the law, but no one tells them what to do once they get in the room.

"This is one of the great mysteries of our legal system," CNN Senior Legal Analyst Elie Honig said of what happens next in the process.

He said the group typically will first elect a foreperson, but after that, different juries approach the task at hand in different ways.

"All we are going to know is we'll get little hints periodically over the next several days," Honig said, adding that those hints will come in the form of notes. The jury can ask to see certain evidence or have testimony read back them.

At the end, they will vote on each of the counts individually, Honig explained.

"It's not all guilty or all not guilty. We could have guilty on some counts, not guilty on others," he said.

A group of 18 jurors was in court for the entirety of the trial but six were dismissed by a random drawing on Tuesday morning. The final 12-person jury panel is made up of five men and seven women, according to a pool reporter in court.

More on the case: Rittenhouse faces five felony charges and, if convicted on the most serious charge, he could face a mandatory sentence of life in prison.

The trial featured more than a dozen videos from the night that showed what happened before, during and after the shootings.

Most of the facts of what happened that night were not up for debate — rather, the heart of the trial was the analysis of Rittenhouse's actions and whether they can be considered "reasonable."

CNN's Eric Levenson, Carma Hassan and Brad Parks contributed reporting to this post. 

11:51 a.m. ET, November 16, 2021

What we know about the Rittenhouse jury

From CNN's Brad Parks

The original panel of 20 jurors, 11 women and nine men, was selected in just one day of voir dire from a pool of 179 prospective jurors present at court, without the use of background questionnaires.

Two jurors were dismissed during the eight days of testimony. One juror was dismissed after it was reported he attempted to tell a joke about the police shooting of Jacob Blake to a deputy after court. A female juror who is pregnant was also excused by the judge after she reported experiencing "mild discomfort" and asked to be dismissed from the panel. 

Judge Bruce Schroeder told prospective jurors in the case during voir dire that he can't rule out ordering them to be sequestered, but said there is "less than 1% chance" that will occur. "I will resist it any way I can, but I can't rule it out."

Earlier today, six of the 18 jurors who heard the case were selected during a lottery to become alternates. The 12 numbers that were not called are now the jury that will deliberate the case.

Schroeder has not indicated if he will sequester the jury if they are unable to reach a verdict on Tuesday.

10:36 a.m. ET, November 16, 2021

Final 12 jurors chosen by lottery in the Rittenhouse trial

From CNN's Mike Hayes

A raffle drum, that will be used to pick the numbers of the alternate jurors who will be excused when the Kyle Rittenhouse case goes to the jury, sits in the courtroom on Friday, Nov. 12, 2021 in Kenosha, Wis. Judge Bruce Schroeder told jurors that he would select as many names as necessary from the tumbler to go from 18 down to 12 jurors. 
A raffle drum, that will be used to pick the numbers of the alternate jurors who will be excused when the Kyle Rittenhouse case goes to the jury, sits in the courtroom on Friday, Nov. 12, 2021 in Kenosha, Wis. Judge Bruce Schroeder told jurors that he would select as many names as necessary from the tumbler to go from 18 down to 12 jurors.  (Mark Hertzberg/Pool/AP)

The 12 jurors who will deliberate the case and reach a verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial have been selected.

This morning, before deliberations begin, six of the 18 jurors who heard the case were selected during a lottery held in the courtroom. The 18 potential jurors heard the evidence and testimony in the case so that alternates were available if jurors needed to be dismissed.

All the jurors' numbers were loaded into a tumbler and mixed around. Defendant Kyle Rittenhouse selected six numbers from the batch.

"All of the jurors' numbers have been exhibited to the defendant, I believe. They're paper clipped together now. Please put them in the tumbler and we'll rotate it and the defendant will draw six of the numbers," Judge Bruce Schroeder said.

The jurors whose numbers he selected were sent out of the courtroom. They will continue to serve as alternates. The clerk read off their numbers after Rittenhouse made his selections.

Rittenhouse reaches into the tumbler to pull out a juror number on Tuesday.
Rittenhouse reaches into the tumbler to pull out a juror number on Tuesday. (Pool)

"As I call your number, please stand up. Number 11. Number 58. Number 14. Number 45. Number 9. Number 52. Then if you'll follow the bailiff into the back room," the clerk said.

The 12 jurors are now beginning deliberations in the case. The alternates will remain at the courthouse during deliberations.

10:10 a.m. ET, November 16, 2021

Jury in Rittenhouse trial will begin deliberations today

The jury in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse will begin deliberations today.

The panel of 18 jurors, eight men and 10 women, will be narrowed down to the 12 by a random drawing using a raffle tumbler this morning. The 12 jurors selected randomly will then deliberate the case.

On Monday, jurors were asked to report back to court at 10 a.m. ET today.

10:14 a.m. ET, November 16, 2021

Key moments from dueling closing arguments in the Rittenhouse trial

From CNN's Eric Levenson, Carma Hassan and Brad Parks

Defense attorney Mark Richards gives his closing argument in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Monday.
Defense attorney Mark Richards gives his closing argument in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Monday. (Sean Krajacic/Pool/Getty Images)

Kyle Rittenhouse provoked the fatal shootings in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last year by pointing his AR-15-style weapon at Joseph Rosenbaum, prosecutors said Monday in closing arguments of his homicide trial.

"That is what provokes this entire incident," prosecutor Thomas Binger said. "When the defendant provokes this incident, he loses the right to self-defense. You cannot claim self-defense against a danger you create."

In response, defense attorney Mark Richards said Rittenhouse did not act recklessly when he fatally shot Rosenbaum, who Richards argued had threatened him, chased him, thrown a plastic bag at him and lunged for his gun.

"When my client shot Joseph Rosenbaum, he feared for his life. He feared because of his prior threats, prior statements and the violent acts that had been witnessed by my client," Richards said.

The dueling closing arguments, which took up most of Monday, came at the end of a two-week trial highlighted by emotional and illuminating testimony from Rittenhouse himself, who said he acted in self-defense when he fatally shot Rosenbaum.

A crowd of people then pursued the teenager, and Rittenhouse testified he shot in self-defense at a man who tried to kick him; fatally shot Anthony Huber, who had hit him with a skateboard; and shot Gaige Grosskreutz, who was armed with a pistol. Rosenbaum and Huber were killed, and Grosskreutz was wounded.

The group of 18 jurors will be narrowed to 12 this morning and will then begin deliberating in the case.

Earlier Monday, Judge Bruce Schroeder dismissed a misdemeanor weapons charge against Rittenhouse, now 18. He still faces five felony charges and, if convicted on the most serious charge, could face a mandatory sentence of life in prison.

Schroeder also read a set of legal instructions to the jury members and informed them they will be allowed to consider lesser included offenses for two of the five counts.

The trial featured more than a dozen videos from the night of August 25, 2020, showing what happened before, during and after the shootings. Most of the facts of what happened that night were not up for debate — rather, the heart of the trial was the analysis of Rittenhouse's actions and whether they can be considered "reasonable."

The prosecution rested its case last Tuesday and the defense rested Friday.