The closing arguments have concluded for Kyle Rittenhouse’s homicide trial and the prosecution said that he was the only threat the night of the fatal shootings.
On Monday (Nov. 15), Kenosha County Assistant District Attorney James Kraus rebuked the defense’s claims that Rittenhouse acted in self-defense when he fatally shot two men and injured a third. “The defense’s whole case has been trying to stoke sympathy for Mr. Rittenhouse and showing how everybody else was a terrible person,” he said.
“It is not up for Mr. Rittenhouse to be the judge, the jury, and eventually the executioner,” Kraus continued.
The district attorney also told jurors that Rittenhouse was the only person who killed anyone during the Kenosha protests. “The only imminent threat that night was Mr. Rittenhouse,” Kraus concluded. ”He was not acting in legal, justified self-defense. He is guilty.”
Earlier Monday, Judge Bruce Schroeder dismissed Rittenhouse’s misdemeanor weapons charge. The then-17-year-old was charged with possessing a dangerous weapon as a minor, but Schroeder said that it was unclear whether the AR-15-style weapon Rittenhouse used to shoot three people qualified under the Wisconsin statute.
However, Rittenhouse is still facing five felony charges, including reckless homicide in the killing of Joseph Rosenbaum and intentional homicide in the shooting death of Anthony Huber. He is also charged with attempted first-degree intentional homicide and two counts of first-degree recklessly endangering safety. If he is convicted of the most serious charge against him, he will face a mandatory sentence of life in prison.
On Tuesday (Nov. 16), the panel of 18 jurors — 10 women and eight men — will be narrowed down to 12 through a random drawing. Those jurors will then begin deliberations. Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has called 500 National Guard troops to the Kenosha area to prepare for the upcoming verdict.