KENOSHA, Wis. – Jurors in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial went home for the evening Thursday and will gather for a fourth day on Friday to try to reach a verdict in the shooting case. 

The deliberations are happening as the judge considers whether to declare a mistrial over a key piece of evidence in the prosecution’s case – a drone video that shows Rittenhouse fatally shootingHe fired the first shot at him. On the evening of August 25, 2020. According to both the defense and the prosecutors, Rittenhouse received Rittenhouse footage in a lesser quality than that presented at the trial. 

Rittenhouse, 18, is charged with first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless homicide and attempted first-degree intentional homicide stemming from shootings during a violent night of protest over police brutality in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The most severe charge will lead to Rittenhouse being sentenced to a life imprisonment.

The mistrial request was the latest turn in a dramatic trial that has lasted more than a week and features dozens of witnesses and videos. Rittenhouse, his attorneys said that he was trying to defend himself. However, the state claimed Rittenhouse brought an AR-15-style rifle with him into the city as a way of provoking a fight.

Get the latest updates from WednesdayDefense asks for mistrial over video

Judge Bruce Schroeder, who has drawn both sharp criticism and high praise over how he has handled the case, has yet to rule on the mistrial motion. He also has not ruled on a separate defense motion for a mistrial with prejudice, which would prevent Rittenhouse from being retried.

Rittenhouse fatally shot Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber and wounded Gaige Grosskreutz during the tense night of protests. Jacob Blake, a Black male paralysed to his waist by a white policeman, was the cause of unrest. All federal and state charges against the officer were dropped.

Rittenhouse is also charged with two reckless endangerment counts, and the jury was instructed it could consider lesser charges on certain counts.

MSNBC is banned by Judge 

Schroeder banned MSNBC from the courthouse Thursday after police briefly detained a man who supposedly followed the jury bus and may have tried to photograph jurors – the latest sensational snippet in the politically divisive case that has seen everything from shouting matches in court, tearful outbursts and backlash over actions and remarks by the judge.

Schroeder claimed that the man said he worked for MSNBC.

NBC News said in a statement that the man was a freelancer who received a citation for a traffic violation that took place near the jury vehicle, and he “never contacted or intended to contact the jurors during deliberations, and never photographed or intended to photograph them.”

According to the statement, the network regrets the incident and will fully cooperate in an investigation.

On Tuesday the jury began their deliberations. They are now anonymous, according to court orders. Schroeder stated that they rode in covered buses to prevent them seeing signs regarding the case.

Schroeder stated that the man who followed the jury bus in New York was instructed by his boss to do so. “The matter is under further investigation at this point,” he said.

Kenosha police stated that the suspect was temporarily taken into custody, and they issued several traffic-related violations.

The judge called it an “extremely serious matter” that will be “referred to the proper authorities for further action.”

Lawyers spar over drone video

Jurors had sent Schroeder a question on Wednesday asking how they would view the video evidence. On Wednesday the lawyers engaged in an argument over drone footage. 

Defense attorney Corey Chirafisi called for a mistrial in the afternoon, saying that the issue had to do with basic fairness and that the defense didn’t realize the clip was of lower quality until Friday when both sides debated jury instructions.

This video supports the claim by the state that Rittenhouse instigated the attack. It would also cast doubt on whether Rittenhouse could be considered self-defense. Prosecutors said the video shows Rittenhouse raise his rifle at a couple who had been with Rosenbaum much of the night. Rosenbaum was triggered to pursue Rittenhouse by the video, which shows Rittenhouse raising his gun at Rosenbaum after they ran across a car parking lot. Rittenhouse shot him four times.

The defense said that’s not what the video shows and that Rosenbaum had been acting aggressively and irrationally all night, threatening to kill Rittenhouse if he caught him alone.

The video didn’t come into play in the trial until Nov. 5, when a former employee from the the owner of the company that operated the droneIt was dropped off at a detective by Assistant District Attorney James Kraus on Wednesday. The video was shared at some point during the sharing process.with defense attorneys, the file was condensed, thereby lowering its quality.

Kraus cast doubt on the defense’s claim that it didn’t have a higher-quality version, saying Rittenhouse’s former attorney, John Pierce, shared the drone video last year on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” and the footage appeared to be of high resolution. 

Jurors were shown the clip during the trial and given a laptop that included it and other videos to review during deliberations. Schroeder allowed them to watch on a large, high-resolution TV in the courtroom, while everyone else was locked out.

Schroeder said he has been “very queasy” about the drone video, and he expressed concerns about whether it was technologically sound earlier in the trial.

“Hot spots for division”:The Arbery trial and Rittenhouse case reflect deeper political, racial divisions

A mistrial is still pending before a judge

Schroeder allowed the jury to continue to view the evidence Wednesday but said the mistrial requests will have to be addressed if there is a guilty verdict. Even if Rittenhouse was convicted, the judge may still allow the motion to dismiss without prejudice. Rittenhouse may appeal the decision on similar grounds. 

Defense attorneys orally requested the mistrial with prejudice last week. The defense alleged prosecutors improperly commented on Rittenhouse’s right to remain silent and tried to bring up evidence the judge ruled was not admissible. 

The defense raised concerns regarding the use of drone video in a written response to Monday’s request. Schroeder clarified Wednesday that he hadn’t read the written motion and wanted to give prosecutors time to respond. By Wednesday they had not.

Schroeder in spotlight:Kenosha courtshouse received letters of support as well as criticism from Rittenhouse trial judge.

What sentence could Rittenhouse serve in prison?

Rittenhouse’s most serious charge, first-degree intentional homicide in Huber’s death, includes a mandatory life sentence if he’s convicted; he could face lengthy prison time for the other charges.

Jurors may consider lesser charges in Huber’s death that could carry up to 60 years in prison, and the first-degree reckless homicide charge in Rosenbaum’s death carries up to 60 years with an additional five years for the “use of a dangerous weapon” modifier.

Lesser charges:In fatal shooting cases, the Rittenhouse jury can consider lesser charges. This is what it means.

Grosskreutz may be sentenced to a maximum of 60 years in prison plus five more for using the same gun modifier. The jury could also consider lower charges.

Each count of first-degree recklessly endangering safety could carry up to 12½ years in prison, plus a five-year weapon modifier. Rittenhouse shot at an unknown man twice before shooting Huber and Grosskreutz. An Daily Caller reporter saw the Rosenbaum shooting scene and reported that a bullet flew past the man.

Contributing: Elliot Hughes & Ashley Luthern, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel ; The Associated Press 



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