The jurors’ verdict is in: Kyle Rittenhouse is not guilty on all counts.
After four days, the seven women and five men have decided that the 18-year-old should be set free. The news caps off an intense trial based on the civil unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, which has proceeded alongside the McMichael/Bryan trial in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery.
Rittenhouse would have faced a mandatory life sentence if found guilty and convicted of first-degree intentional homicide.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better jury to work with and it has truly been my pleasure,” Judge Bruce Schroeder said after delivering the verdict. “I think, without commenting on your verdict, the verdicts themselves, just in terms of your attentiveness and the cooperation that you gave to us, justifies the confidence that the founders of our country placed in you so I dismiss you at this time.”
He added: “You’re never under any obligation to discuss any aspect of this case with anyone. You’re welcome to do so as little or as much as you want.”
Again, the verdict came on the fourth day of deliberations and the 15th day of the trial.
Asked for his comments on the trial President Joe Biden said he “stand[s] by what the jury has concluded.”
Jurors deliberated for a total of 26 hours and found Rittenhouse not guilty on five counts including first-degree reckless homicide, two counts of first-degree intentional counts related to his weapon. The judge, himself, tossed one charge of possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under 18 on Monday after Rittenhouse’s defense team argued that a subsection of the law concerning short-barreled rifles was grounds for dismissal.
Rittenhouse’s attorneys argued that the then-17-year-old was acting in self-defense after being attacked from behind when he shot Gaige Grosskreutz, 27, as well as deceased Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26 in the riots following the police shooting of a 29-year-old Black man, Jacob Blake.
This is a developing story; check back for updates.