- Kyle Rittenhouse has been found not guilty on all charges in his homicide trial.
- Rittenhouse was charged with killing two men and injuring a third during civil unrest in August 2020. He claimed the shootings were self-defense.
- The jury deliberated for more than 24 hours in the case.
Attorney Mark Richards told reporters after the Rittenhouse’s acquittal that the team did mock trials — putting Rittenhouse on the stand in one, and not having him testify in the other.
The results made it clear that testifying was effective, he said.
“That sealed it,” Richards said. “In Wisconsin, if you don’t put a client on the stand, you’re going to lose.”
Spokesperson David Hancock appeared on Fox News following the verdict.
“You’re going to see some great things coming out of Kyle in the next few years,” he said.
He added that Kyle makes his own decisions and that he will be going to college in the near future. Hancock said Rittenhouse wants to go into the medical field.
Republican politicians were quick to offer Rittenhouse an internship if he wants one.
The gun control advocacy group also called the teen a “dangerous vigilante” and claimed he was treated with “kiddy gloves.”
“This deadly culture ensnared Kyle Rittenhouse and his three victims,” March For Our Lives said. “One thing is clear: Young people are enraged watching this trial, and this will not be our normal.”
The group added: “He embodies the very danger posed by an armed white supremacist culture.”
“May Kyle and his family now live in peace,” wrote Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene. “Kyle is one of [the] good ones.”
Rep. Paul Gosar said on Twitter that he would “arm wrestle” Rep. Matt Gaetz in order to “get dibs for Kyle as an intern.”
And Rep. Madison Cawthorn posted a video on Instagram live that included text that read “KYLE: IF YOU WANT AN INTERNSHIP, REACH OUT TO ME.”
Other Republicans called on President Joe Biden to apologize to Rittenhouse for suggesting the teen was a white supremacist.
“We want the nation to know, the nation that you live in now isn’t the nation of the United States that we used to live in,” he said immediately following the news of the verdict.
“At the beginning of the trial, there was some concern about information and your safety. And I assure you we will take every measure to ensure that your concerns are addressed and respected,” he told the jury Friday.
As the jury was reading out the not guilty verdict, Rittenhouse remained blank-faced.
But once the jury forewoman finished, he reacted emotionally, breaking out into sobs and collapsing into tears.
His attorney then tried to calm him down as another member of the legal team handed him water.
Initially, he faced a sixth count of possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under 18. Judge Bruce Schroder dismissed this count on Monday.
The jury had been deliberating the case for more than 24 hours.
Mitchell is the first person to speak publicly after serving on the jury that convicted former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin of murdering George Floyd in May 2020.
He said jurors dealt with the pressure by putting themselves “in a bubble.”
“You take it so seriously,” Mitchell said. “Like I don’t even want to think of anything else that could possibly stress me out, because you are making a real serious decision on somebody’s life.”
When jurors entered the courthouse on Friday, several of them thanked sheriff’s deputies for using a folding screen to block them from being seen by the public, according to The New York Times.
The Times reported that one woman said the screens “calm my nerves,” and another remarked that the “media coverage is insane.” Yet another juror reportedly mentioned that he woke up at 3:30 a.m. and couldn’t sleep until 5 a.m.
Reporters in the courthouse tweeted that Kenosha County Judge Bruce Schroeder walked in to begin hearing other cases, carrying a six-pack of Diet Wild Cherry Pepsi.
Just before dismissing the jury, he agreed to a juror’s request to take the 36-page jury instructions home with her.
Rittenhouse’s defense attorneys shook their heads at Schroeder’s decision and said they feared jurors would start looking up terms. Schroeder replied that they’d likely look up terms with or without the jury instructions.
Schroeder added that jurors weren’t permitted to take home their notes on the trial.
The letter explained that Harborside Academy and Reuther Central High School, each located within blocks of the courthouse, shut down in-person teaching beginning on Wednesday, Insider reported.
On Thursday, three more schools near the courthouse — Brass Community School, Frank Elementary School, and Washington Middle School — also switched to virtual learning.
Kenosha Unified School District’s chief communications officer, Tanya Ruder, said that all schools will continue virtual learning through Friday.
The jury began deliberating Tuesday morning. Since then, protesters — one carrying a rifle — have gathered outside of the courthouse to demonstrate.
“This is a very serious matter and I don’t know what the ultimate truth of it is,” Judge Bruce Schroeder said to the courtroom Thursday. “But absolutely it would go without much thinking that someone who is following the jury bus, that’s an extremely serious matter and it will be referred to the proper authorities.”
Police questioned the man after he ran a red light following the bus and ticketed him for the traffic violation.
The man identified himself to police as James Morrison, and said he had been instructed by a superior named Irene Byon to follow the jury bus.
NBC News said in a statement that they regretted the incident, and that their freelancer “never contacted or intended to contact the jurors during deliberations, and never photographed or intended to photograph them.”
Police on Wednesday arrested both Anthony Chacon, 20, on charges of battery, disorderly conduct, and resisting arrest and 34-year-old Shaquita Cornelious on a charge of disorderly conduct, Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Sgt. David Wright told Insider.
“The Kenosha Police Department and the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department fully recognize the importance of media coverage surrounding the trial,” police said in a statement. “The media and public have a responsibility to give space to law enforcement and allow them to perform their duties. Please do so.”
Rittenhouse is charged with fatally shooting two men and injuring a third amid civil unrest Kenosha, Wisconsin, following the police shooting of Jacob Blake. Rittenhouse has pleaded not guilty to all charges against him, claiming he shot all three men in self-defense after they attacked him.
The jury began deliberations Tuesday morning. Later that day, the jury asked for additional copies of jury instructions, specifically pages that offer instructions on self-defense.
On Wednesday the jury re-watched multiple videos shown in court showing the shootings, including controversial drone footage that prompted Rittenhouse’s attorneys to request a mistrial.
Amid jury deliberations on Wednesday, Kenosha County Judge Bruce Schroder complained about media coverage of the trial, defended his ban on the use of the word “victim” to describe the people Rittenhouse shot, and also explained why he allowed Rittenhouse to choose the alternate jurors from a tumbler.
Wisconsin is preparing for more unrest when the jurors deliver a verdict, and has already called in 500 National Guard troops.