Kyle Rittenhouse Trial Live Updates: Demonstrations Continue at Courthouse

Live Updates

The city of Kenosha, Wisconsin is on alert ahead of a possible verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse homicide trial.

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers called in 500 National Guard troops to assist local law enforcement control reaction when the jury delivers their verdict after closing arguments Monday.

The governor's office told Newsweek in a statement on Friday that mobilizing the troops is meant to "support local partners in ensuring public safety in conjunction with hundreds of officers from volunteering law enforcement agencies."

Rittenhouse is charged with five felonies, including reckless homicide, intentional homicide, attempted intentional homicide a misdemeanor charge of possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under 18. He allegedly fatally shot Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber and wounded Gaige Grosskreutz during Black Lives Matter protests in Kenosha in 2020.

Rittenhouse, now 18 years old, was 17 at the time of the incident and pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The trial captured national attention, as some see Rittenhouse as a vigilante and white supremacist who was looking for trouble, while others believe he acted in self-defense and attended the protest to administer first-aid and protect the community from rioters.

There have been many dramatic moments during the trial, from Rittenhouse getting emotional on the witness stand, to Kenosha County Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder yelling at the prosecution, to a slew of controversies surrounding comments made by Judge Schroader that evoked calls of racism and bias.

Follow Newsweek's liveblog for all the latest updates.

Rittenhouse Trial
Lawyers are set to deliver their closing arguments in the Kyle Rittenhouse homicide trial Monday. Above, Rittenhouse walks back into the courtroom after a break during his trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse on November 11, 2021 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Sean Krajacic-Pool/Getty Images

Prosecutors and Kyle Rittenhouse's defense team gave their closing arguments two weeks after the 18-year-old's homicide trial began. The jury is set to return to the Kenosha County Courthouse at 9 a.m. on Tuesday where the panel of 18 will be whittled down to 12 before deliberations begin.

Kenosha County Circuit Court Judge Bruce Schroeder advised the jury to "pay no heed to the opinions of anyone" and to focus on the facts of the case while determining whether to convict Rittenhouse.

The defense has maintained that their client feared for his life when he shot Joseph Rosenbaum and that Rittenhouse is "not an active shooter" despite the state's characterization.

Prosecutors argued that Rittenhouse cannot claim self-defense under the law because he provoked the incident and there was no imminent threat to his life when he began shooting.

Rittenhouse faces five charges including first-degree reckless homicide for killing Rosenbaum, first-degree recklessly endangering the safety of Richie McGinniss and first-degree recklessly endangering the safety of the unidentified "jump kick man." He's also charged with the first-degree intentional homicide of Anthony Huber plus the attempted first-degree intentional homicide of Gaige Grosskreutz—with the jury able to consider lesser charges for these counts.

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers called in 500 National Guard troops to assist local law enforcement on Monday in anticipation of the jury delivering their verdict. The governor's office told Newsweek in a statement on Friday that mobilizing the troops is meant to "support local partners in ensuring public safety in conjunction with hundreds of officers from volunteering law enforcement agencies."

Demonstrations continue outside Kenosha County Courthouse

Demonstrators gathered outside of the Kenosha County Courthouse on Monday night after closing arguments and two weeks of Kyle Rittenhouse's trial began.

Justin Blake, the uncle of Jacob Blake, said they were there to stand together and demand justice for the victims' families.

Jacob Blake’s uncle, Justin Blake, on why he’s out at the Kenosha courthouse tonight pic.twitter.com/bjAeRLOruc

— Sergio Olmos (@MrOlmos) November 16, 2021

"There's racism throughout this whole trial," he said. "We're here to make sure people focus on the issues... let's talk about the issues, let's view the tapes, hopefully, they concentrate on the tapes and we believe they'll come out with that he's guilty as hell."

A few people supporting Rittenhouse also gathered outside of the courthouse. One woman held a sign that said "Kyle is the only victim, Use your eyes not the lies. Self-defence is not an offense" and exchanged words with demonstrators.

Outside the Kenosha County Courthouse right now @LawCrimeNetwork pic.twitter.com/n7CnL3HjUP

— Angenette Levy (@Angenette5) November 16, 2021

Closing arguments conclude with deliberations set for Tuesday morning

Closing arguments in Kyle Rittenhouse's homicide trial have concluded with the jury set to deliberate beginning on Tuesday morning.

Kenosha County Assistant District Attorney James Kraus ended his argument by stating that Rittenhouse's actions should not be considered justifiable self-defense and that he is guilty.

#BREAKING: The jurors vote to return to the courtroom tomorrow morning at 9 a.m.

That is when the 12 will be selected, and then deliberations in the #KyleRittenhouse trial will begin.

— Andrew Havranek (@Andrew_Havranek) November 15, 2021

Kenosha County Circuit Court Judge Bruce Schroeder responded by advising the jury to "pay no heed to the opinions of anyone" while determining whether to convict Rittenhouse.

"You will disregard the claims or opinions of any other person or news media or social networking site. You will pay no heed to the opinions of anyone — even the President of the United States or the President before him," he said.

The jury will begin deliberations at 9 a.m. on Tuesday after the panel of 18, consisting of eight men and 10 women, is first reduced to 12 using a random drawing. Schroeder told those who are not selected that they will need to stay in the building in the event that another juror is disqualified.

Prosecutors argue Rittenhouse brought 'a gun to a fist fight'

Assistant District Attorney James Kraus argued that Kyle Rittenhouse was not privileged to act in self-defense because there was no imminent threat of death.

Kraus said that the standard is not that it could just cause bodily harm, but the threat of greater bodily harm in response to the defense's argument that their client is not a threat and putting him away won't serve a "legitimate purpose."

"Why do you get to immediately just start shooting. As Mr. Binger said, he brought a gun to a fist fight, and he was too cowardly to use his fists to fight his way out." - Kraus

— Andrew Havranek (@Andrew_Havranek) November 15, 2021

"You don't just get to immediately shoot someone. It is not reasonable for any person to not try to defend yourself first using other methods," Kraus said.

He continued, "Why do you get to immediately just start shooting. As Mr. Binger said, he brought a gun to a fistfight, and he was too cowardly to use his fists to fight his way out."

Kraus added Rittenhouse could have shot Joseph Rosenbaum in the hip once and stepped back rather than shoot four times.

"Hit 'em, kick 'em, knee 'em. Anything else...and Mr. Rosenbaum and Mr. [Anthony] Huber are alive," Kraus finished.

Defense says putting away Rittenhouse won't serve 'legitimate purpose'

Defense Attorney Mark Richards ended two hours of closing arguments by urging the jury to acquit Kyle Rittenhouse under the law's self-defense privilege.

"Mr. Rosenbaum was hellbent on causing trouble that night. He did what he did and he started this. There are tragic parts of this, but Kyle Rittenhouse's actions are protected under the law of self-defense," Richards said.

The defense attorney spoke two hours. He ended his closing argument urging the jury to acquit under the law's self-defense privilege. "There are no winners in this case but putting Kyle Rittenhouse down for something he was privileged to do will serve no legitimate purpose."

— Christy Gutowski (@ChristyGutowsk1) November 15, 2021

He continued, "There are no winners in this case but putting Kyle Rittenhouse down for something he was privileged to do will serve no legitimate purpose."

Richards also argued that his client is "zero threat" and said the state's characterization of Rittenhouse as an active shooter is "BS." He emphasized that his client's intent was not to cause trouble but to help his community.

Prosecutors have the opportunity to give a short rebuttal and the defense has asked for a surrebuttal, but it has not yet been granted.

St. Louis man who waved guns at protesters says Rittenhouse a victim of 'cancel culture'

Mark McCloskey, part of the St. Louis couple who pointed firearms at unarmed Black Lives Matter protesters, said that Kyle Rittenhouse is a victim of cancel culture.

"I feel bad for anybody that gets destroyed in the press for doing no more than protecting themselves and their fellow citizens," McCloskey said outside of the courthouse. "There's a cancel culture in this country that destroys your ability to tell the truth, be honestly portrayed in the press."

Outside the Kenosha courthouse Mark McCloskey says Kyle Rittenhouse is a victim of cancel culture. pic.twitter.com/QJwsbaJYcb

— Sergio Olmos (@MrOlmos) November 15, 2021

McCloskey continued that after his event last June, in reference to when he and his wife pointed firearms at unarmed protesters in St. Louis, he would've been expected to apologize if he was a senior partner at his law firm.

Republicans Hold Virtual 2020 National Convention
Mark McCloskey, part of the St. Louis couple who pointed firearms at unarmed Black Lives Matter protestors, said that Kyle Rittenhouse is a victim of cancel culture. Pictured: In this screenshot from the RNC’s livestream of the 2020 Republican National Convention, Patricia and Mark McCloskey, a couple from St. Louis who pointed guns at Black Lives Matter protesters, addresses the virtual convention in a pre-recorded video broadcasted on August 24, 2020. Committee on Arrangements for the 2020 Republican National Committee via Getty Images

"The next Monday I would've had to go on the apology tour and no matter how much I apologized, I'd still get fired. And that's the climate of the United States today," McCloskey said. "And that's why we're up here to show that there is a right to defend yourself, there is truth, there is reality, and despite what the mainstream media says and despite what the president of the United States says, the jury in this trial heard the facts and we're hoping that they find Kyle Rittenhouse innocent on all counts."

Defense calls charges 'rushed,' compares Rittenhouse to officer who shot Jacob Blake

The defense told the jury the homicide charges filed against Rittenhouse were "rushed."

"When we picked you guys as jurors we asked if you could decide based on the evidence," Defense Attorney Mark Richards said. "He was charged on the 27th before the autopsies were even done. Ladies and Gentleman this has been a rush to judgment."

Additionally, Richards noted that the police officer who shot Jacob Blake did not face jail time for firing more shots at Blake than Rittenhouse fired at Joseph Rosenbaum, Anthony Huber and Gaige Grosskreutz.

"Other people in this community have been shot seven times and it was found to be ok," Richards said. "My client shot someone four times."

FULL STORY: Rittenhouse's Attorney Suggests Officer Who Shot Jacob Blake Is Free as Client on Trial

Attorneys wield gun in courtroom

Both the prosecution and the defense wielded the gun Kyle Rittenhouse used in the shooting incident in the courtroom during their closing arguments.

In both instances, the attorneys double-checked the gun was empty and safe.

When ADA Thomas Binger pointed the gun at the jury with his finger on the trigger, it sparked a reaction online about gun safety.

This comes after the fatal shooting on a film set with a prop gun last month that killed the cinematographer and injured the director.

The gun Kyle Rittenhouse used in August 2020 has been a popular prop during closing arguments from both the prosecution and the defense. In both uses, the weapon had to be double checked for safety. pic.twitter.com/7P4OyBksaa

— Omar Jimenez (@OmarJimenez) November 15, 2021

Crowds outside heard inside the courtroom

Pool reporters inside the courtroom said they could hear protesters outside.

It is not clear if the jury can hear the crowds, reports said, because the media is seated closest to the front steps of the courthouse.

A photographer for the Law & Crime Trial Network outside said someone read a poem over a megaphone and notes the crowd is not very big.

Some newer pics from outside the Kenosha Co. Courthouse @LawCrimeNetwork #KyleRittenhouse pic.twitter.com/fIJ54Py0Jx

— Angenette Levy (@Angenette5) November 15, 2021

Defense disputes active shooter characterization

The defense disputes the prosecution's argument that Rittenhouse was "an active shooter."

Mark Richards said "active shooter" has a loaded connotation and that such a person typically has a plan to commit multiple casualties.

He argues that threats from Rosenbaum and others is what caused Rittenhouse to shoot people.

Richards adds that Rittenhouse ran two blocks without shooting or pointing his gun at anyone and was running towards the police before he stopped because a rock was thrown at his head.

The defense reiterated that Rittenhouse was at the protest to "help the community," noting he was asked to protect the property at Car Source Three and provided aid to people.

Rittenhouse is "not an active shooter," Richards said.

"It's a buzzword the state wants to latch onto because it excuses the actions of the mob," he adds.

Defense attacks prosecution's closing argument

Defense Attorney Mark Richards accuses ADA Binger of lying, misrepresenting the truth or being unprepared as he begins his closing argument.

"Did you hear one word out of Mr. Binger's mouth about provocation [earlier in the trial]?" Richards asked. "You didn't. But when his case explodes in his face, he comes out with provocation."

Richards noted, "this case is not a game, this is my client's life."

"We don't play fast and loose with the facts," he added.

Richards called Joseph Rosenbaum "a rioter" and "a bad man" who was causing trouble.

He adds that there was "nothing reckless" about Rittenhouse's actions that night.

Richards said Rittenhouse shot Rosenbaum "because he feared for his life" and because of previous threats.

"Mr. Rosenbaum was shot because he was chasing my client because he was going to kill him," he said. "Take his gun and carry out the threats he made."

Prosecution says panic is not a justification for killing

As he wraps up his closing arguments, ADA Binger notes "there is a high bar for using self-defense."

He called on the jury to decide whether or not Rittenhouse's actions are "legally justified."

Binger said excuses, like panic and inexperience with his rifle, are not a justification for killing.

"When you commit arson we prosecute you, we don't execute you in the street," Binger said earlier.

He reiterated that you forfeit the right to self-defense "if you created the danger."

"The defendant provoked everything," he said, by raising and aiming his gun at people in the crowd.

"No reasonable person would do what the defendant did," Binger added. "And that makes your decision easy. He is guilty of all counts."

Crowds argues outside courtroom

Crowds of people have gathered outside the courtroom in Kenosha while closing arguments continue inside.

There are some clashes between those who support Rittenhouse and those who believe he is guilty, as people argue about the case and Rittenhouse's self-defense argument.

Small crowd gathered outside #KyleRittenhouseTrial during lunch and they are having their own arguments about the case: pic.twitter.com/LpJRNZKo01

— Sara Sidner (@sarasidnerCNN) November 15, 2021

Defense cannot prove Rittenhouse was threatened, Binger argues

ADA Thomas Binger argues that Joseph Rosenbaum did not threaten to kill Kyle Rittenhouse.

Kristan Harri's video for Rundown Live does not show the threat from Rosenbaum the defense claims occurred.

"It didn't happen," Binger said.

Binger said the defense wants to provide a reason for why it was okay for Rittenhouse to kill Rosenbaum.

"It's critical for their case but it's not there," he said, adding that the defense cannot prove the threat happened.

"If the defense had [evidence of the threat], they'd play it for you," he said.

Binger says Rittenhouse 'broke down crying about himself' not for the victims he shot

The prosecution said Rittenhouse showed no remorse for the people he shot.

"He broke down crying about himself, not about anyone he killed that night," ADA Binger said.

Binger called Rittenhouse a "fraud medic" and a "fake EMT who kills people."

The prosecution also questioned why Rittenhouse needed an AR-15 if he was at the protest to provide first-aid.

"Why do you need 30 rounds of full metal jacket armor to protect the building?" Binger asks, adding that an AR-15 "had no lawful or legitimate purpose that night."

"I'm not saying people don't have a right to carry a gun," Binger added. "But that AR-15 did not accomplish any of the goals" of a medic or of someone who wants to protect a building.

Prosecution says Rittenhouse has 'no remorse, no regard for life'

Returning after lunch, the prosecution shows video next shooting incidents.

ADA Binger said Rittenhouse committed a criminal act and put people in danger after he fatally shot Joseph Rosenbaum. He said it was reasonable for the crowd to believe Rittenhouse was a threat and would kill people again.

Binger adds that Rittenhouse could have tried to help Rosenbaum, dropped his gun, put his hands in the air or otherwise signaled to the crowd that he was not a threat. But he did none of those things.

"Everything he does is indicative of someone who is a threat," Binger said. "How is the crowd supposed to know he is not a threat?"

Therefore, the crowd tried to stop Rittenhouse because they believed he was an active shooter, adding that "the crowd has a right to self-defense."

Then, "just a few seconds later," Binger said Rittenhouse kills a second person, tries to kill another and injures Gaige Grosskreutz.

Binger adds that Rittenhouse has "no remorse, no regard for life, only cares about himself."

Prosecution debunks claim that Rosenbaum was a threat to Rittenhouse

The prosecution argues that Joseph Rosenbaum was not trying to kill Kyle Rittenhouse.

ADA Binger said he will debunk the defense's claim that Rosenbaum threatened to Kill Rittenhouse and noted that Rosenbaum was unarmed, incapacitated by the first shot and did not try to grab Rittenhouse's gun.

Binger argues that Rosenbaum was looking for nothing more than a bar fight or a fistfight.

"The defendant brought a gun to a fistfight," Bigner said, adding that the defense wants the jury to believe Rosenbaum was reaching for the gun because "you can't claim self-defense against an unarmed man."

Binger showed a picture from the movie "Roadhouse."

The prosecution in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial literally just showed this as part of its closing arguments. #KyleRittenhouse pic.twitter.com/LIEYLJucTA

— Omar Jimenez (@OmarJimenez) November 15, 2021

Prosecution: 'You cannot claim self-defense against a danger you create'

ADA Binger is playing several videos for the jury showing the shootings incidents and the aftermath.

He plays the drone video of Rittenhouse shooting unarmed Jospeh Rosenbaum.

"That is what provokes this entire incident," Binger said. "You cannot claim self-defense against a danger you create. If you're the one threatening others, you lose the right to self-defense."

In the next video, Binger adds that Rosenbaum was "not even within arm's reach when the first shot was fired."

Prosecution begins its closing argument

The prosecution begins its closing arguments.

Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger asks the jury to consider Rittenhouse's "true motivations."

"What were his true motivations? Did he sincerely care about Car Source? Was he genuinely interested in helping people? He ran around with an AR15 all night and lied about being an EMT," he said. "He's not there to support BLM or Jacob Blake."

He adds that "we can all agree" that all life is sacred and life is more important than property.

"I think we can also agree that we shouldn't have 17-year-old running around our streets with AR-15s, because this is exactly what happens," Binger adds.

Binger adds that amid the chaos, violence and unrest of the protest last year, "the only person who shot and killed anyone was the defendant."

"You don't get to kill someone on the street for committing arson," he said.

Judge clarifies instruction wording

Judge Bruce Schroeder dismissed the jury and spoke with the defense and prosecution over confusion in the instruction wording.

Schroeder wants to clarify whether the jury moves to consider the lesser charges if they find Rittenhouse acted in self-defense and is, therefore, not guilty.

After deliberation, the jury returned and Judge Schroeder clarified the instructions.

"If as to any of the cases with multiple submissions, if on any individual count they find in their consideration of charged offense that the defendant acted lawfully in self-defense, they are done," he said.

This means that if the jury finds Rittenhouse is not guilty of the top charge because he acted in self-defense, they are done and do not have to consider the lesser offenses in the count. The jury will also not consider the lesser charges if they find Rittenhouse is guilty of the top charge.

The charges against Rittenhouse

Here are the five charges against Kyle Rittenhouse:

Count 1: First-degree reckless homicide for killing Joseph Rosenbaum.

For this charge, the state must prove that Rittenhouse caused the death, acted with criminally reckless conduct, showed "utter disregard for human life" and was not privileged by self-defense.

Count 2: First-degree recklessly endangering the safety of Richie McGinniss.

Count 3: First-degree recklessly endangering the safety of the unidentified "jump kick man."

For this charge, the state must prove Rittenhouse endangered safety of another, the risk of death or bodily harm was unreasonable and he was aware of the risk.

Count 4: First-degree intentional homicide of Anthony Huber. The jury can consider a lesser charge, second-degree intentional homicide. If not, the jury can consider whether Rittnehosue is guilty of first-degree reckless homicide.

Count 5: Attempted first-degree intentional homicide of Gaige Grosskreutz. The jury may consider Rittenhouse a lesser charge, second-degree intentional homicide or first-degree reckless endangerment.

The judge clarified that self-defense does not apply to recklessly endangering the safety of McGinniss because McGinniss was not attacking Rittenhouse. It is up to the jury to determine whether Rittenhouse was acting lawfully in self-defense in the other charges.

Judge instructs jury ahead of closing arguments

Judge Schroder is now reading the instructions to the jury ahead of closing arguments.

The over 30 pages of instructions include an explanation of self-defense.

He instructed the jury to ignore his impression of the case and decide the case solely based on evidence.

"You are the sole judge of the facts," he said.

Misdemeanor charge dropped

Judge Schroder dropped the misdemeanor charge against Kyle Rittenhouse.

Count 6, possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under 18, has been dismissed. This charge is punishable by up to nine months in jail.

Rittenhouse faces five felony charges.

Schroder said the Wisconsin law was poorly written. The law states that a 17-year-old can possess a rifle or shotgun as long as it is not a short-barreled rifle or shotgun.

The shorter barrel size of Rittenhouse's rifle meant he did not violate that law.

FULL STORY: Judge Drops Rittenhouse Gun Charge, Grants Dismissal the Defense Sought Twice

Judge discusses jury instructions with attorneys

Judge Bruce Schroeder said there are 36 pages of jury instructions.

The defense is asking the judge to read the self-defense instructions for each count. This would apply to five counts.

Schroeder said this "it would be a monumental waste of time" and bore the jury because of all the talking expected in court today. However, he said he will do it.

Both the defense and the prosecution continue to go over the details in the jury instruction with Judge Schroeder before they give closing arguments.