Jurors who will decide the fate of Kyle Rittenhouse started the third day of deliberations on Thursday after reviewing several videos of the teenager shooting and killing two men and injuring another during a violent night of unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in August 2020.
Rittenhouse, 18, was charged in the deaths of Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, and attempted homicide in the wounding of Gaige Grosskreutz, 28. For the most serious charge, Rittenhouse faces a mandatory life sentence in prison.
The jury, comprised of seven women and five men, has so far spent roughly 14 hours weighing two weeks of testimony—including considerable evidence in support of Rittenhouse’s claim that he only opened fire after he was attacked.
On Wednesday, the jury requested several videos, including drone footage that became the subject of a motion to mistrial that was submitted by Rittenhouse’s lawyers. They argued that prosecutors provided them with a lower quality video than what was submitted as evidence, although prosecutors denied their assertion.
The drone footage is a key component of prosecutors’ argument that Rittenhouse allegedly provoked the chain of events leading to the shooting. The footage, they contended, allegedly showed the teen pointing his rifle at protesters and rioters.
Rittenhouse attorney Corey Chirafisi told the judge that the defense would have approached the case differently if it had received better footage earlier in the case. But the lawyer said the request for a mistrial would be made without prejudice, meaning that the state could still try Rittenhouse a second time.
When viewing the footage that was presented by prosecutors, however, it is difficult to decipher whether Rittenhouse pointed his gun at anyone because of how far away the drone was. Rittenhouse testified last week that he did not point his weapon at anyone beforehand.
Last week, the defense asked for a mistrial with prejudice, meaning Rittenhouse could not be put on trial again. That request was prompted by what the defense said were improper questions asked by prosecutor Thomas Binger during his cross-examination of Rittenhouse.
Outside the courtroom, protesters started to gather, with some supporting Rittenhouse and others who ostensibly backed Black Lives Matter.
The Kenosha Sheriff’s Department on Wednesday wrote that the “media and the public have a responsibility to give space to law enforcement and allow them to perform their duties” after two people were arrested after an “incident that occurred on the courthouse steps.”
A 20-year-old man was taken into custody for battery, disorderly conduct, and resisting arrest. A 34-year-old female was arrested for disorderly conduct, sheriff’s officials confirmed.
“During the arrests law enforcement needed to deploy several officers to keep crowds of citizens and media from interfering,” the Kenosha Sheriff’s Department’s statement said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.