A jury has reached a verdict in the homicide trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, the teenager who killed two people and shot another during unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last summer. The verdict will be read in court shortly.
The verdict comes after a two-week trial highlighted by Rittenhouse taking the stand and telling the jury he shot the men in self-defense.
"I didn't do anything wrong. I defended myself," he testified.
Rittenhouse, now 18, was charged with five felonies:
- First-degree intentional homicide
- First-degree reckless homicide
- Attempted first-degree intentional homicide
- Two counts of first-degree recklessly endangering safety
Jurors were also able to consider lesser offenses for two of the five counts.
A misdemeanor weapons possession charge and a non-criminal curfew violation were dismissed by Judge Bruce Schroeder prior to deliberations.
The charges stem from the chaotic unrest last year in the wake of the Kenosha Police shooting of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man. After instances of rioting and fiery destruction, Rittenhouse, 17 at the time, took a medical kit and an AR-15-style rifle and joined up with a group of other armed people in Kenosha on Aug. 25, 2020.
There, Rittenhouse fatally shot Joseph Rosenbaum – who was chasing the teenager and threw a plastic bag at him – and then tried to flee the area. A crowd of people pursued the teenager, and Rittenhouse shot at a man who tried to kick him; fatally shot Anthony Huber, who had hit him with a skateboard; and wounded Gaige Grosskreutz, who was armed with a pistol.
Prosecutors called up to 22 witnesses over the course of six days as they sought to show that Rittenhouse provoked Rosenbaum by pointing the rifle at him. The prosecution portrayed the three other people who confronted the teen as “heroes” trying to stop what they believed to be an active shooting.
However, the defense said Rittenhouse acted in self-defense and feared for his life when he shot at the men.