KENOSHA, Wis. — Jury selection was completed in a single day at the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, the Illinois teenager charged with killing two people and wounding a third during protests last year after the police shooting of Jacob Blake.

The final 20-person panel – 12 jurors and eight alternates – came together Monday night after lawyers used their peremptory strikes to trim a panel of 34 prospective jurors. The final panel has 11 women and nine men, and one person of color. 

On Tuesday, the trial will resume with opening statements. Then testimony will begin. It is anticipated that the trial will last for two weeks.

This case generated a steady stream of outrage, intrigue and propaganda in mainstream and niche conservative media outlets. The defendant was portrayed as both a patriot, symbol of gun rights and boy-next door as well as being a self-defense hero as well as a boy-next to him. 

Rittenhouse is charged with intentional, reckless and attempted homicide, reckless endangerment and curfew violation. He’s also charged with possessing a firearm as a minor, which is a misdemeanor.

It happened this way:The visual timeline of violence and death in Kenosha following the police shooting of Jacob Blake

Bruce Schroeder, Kenosha Circuit Judge, presides in the large courtroom on his second floor. The Kenosha County Courthouse does not require masks and social distancing cannot be enforced. Schroeder gave two weeks of his time for the trial.

Rittenhouse’s attorneys claim that he was acting in lawful self defense. Let’s find out what we know about the trial of Rittenhouse: 

Rittenhouse is charged with several counts including murder

Rittenhouse faces five felonies, a misdemeanor and a curfew ticket from the events of Aug. 25, 2020. Using an AR-15-type rifle, he killed Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, and wounded Gaige Grosskreutz. 

Huber is being charged with the most severe offense, first-degree intentional killing in Huber’s death. Huber was allegedly shot in his chest when he attempted to remove Rittenhouse from him. 

Rittenhouse is charged with endangering the safety of a reporter for The Daily Caller who was recording from nearby when Rosenbaum was shot and an unidentified man Rittenhouse shot at as the man tried to kick him. 

Similar:Here’s how you select jurors to participate in Kyle Rittenhouse’s Trial

Rittenhouse was a militiaman

Rittenhouse considered himself a militia member trying to protect life and property, according to videos, interviews and social media posts. Rittenhouse was just 17 years old at the time, but he has since turned 18

The night of the shooting, Rittenhouse said, he was armed with a rifle to protect a parking lot. Wisconsin law permits gun owners to bring their guns in public. However, it’s not clear if the Illinois teenager would have been banned as a minor.

Both sides wanted the trial to be held elsewhere.

Rittenhouse began his trial in Kenosha (Wisconsin) at 9 AM with jury selection. 

A typical criminal felony trial will see 30-60 potential jurors summoned by clerks of courts from the county. These people are randomly selected from ID cards and drivers license records.

For trials in cases that generate lots of publicity, it’s not uncommon for defendants to seek a change of venue – to have the trial held in a different county or before jurors brought in from another county.

Both sides were not interested in having the trial moved, as they knew that possible jurors from almost every part of Wisconsin are familiar with Rittenhouse. 

The controversy surrounding Judge

Schroeder is the longest-serving current judge in Wisconsin. He’s become a polarizing national figure for his early decisions in the Rittenhouse trial.

Schroeder, 75, said last week the people shot by Rittenhouse could not be called “victims” – a term he routinely bans in his trials unless someone has been convicted of a crime against the person.

He prompted controversy after he quoted a racial slur on camera during online streaming of court proceedings last year.

Kyle Rittenhouse Trial:The judge has caused controversy by insisting that the case isn’t ‘political.

You can see the action from your seat

CourtTV is a streaming news website that was once a cable channel. It plans to report the whole trial. CourtTV was set up by Schroeder, county officials and will feed other news outlets with its audio- and video feeds.

The trial will stream live – supplemented with CourtTV’s own commentary –  on CourtTV.com.

Reporters from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, part of the USA TODAY Network, will provide coverage, including via a live blog at jsonline.com.

Contributing: Gina Barton, Cary Spiva; Milwaukee Journal Sentinel; The Associated Press

Follow Bruce Vielmetti on Twitter at @ProofHearsay



Source: USAToday.com

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