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Crime: EXPLAINER: Did Rittenhouse lawyers do enough to prevail?

Judge in Kyle Rittenhouse trial boots juror for 'joke' about police shooting of Jacob Blake

  Judge in Kyle Rittenhouse trial boots juror for 'joke' about police shooting of Jacob Blake When the judge brought the juror to the courtroom, the man would not repeat the joke but said he didn’t think it had “anything to do with” the trial.A Kenosha police officer shot Blake seven times in August 2020, which left him paralyzed. The shooting was captured on video that sparked protests and led to the deaths of the two men, whom Rittenhouse is charged with killing. Rittenhouse also wounded a third person during those protests last year.

KENOSHA, Wisconsin (AP) — When Kyle Rittenhouse took the stand to testify about his actions the night he shot three men on the streets of Kenosha — sobbing and seemingly unable to continue as he approached the critical moment where he shot the first man — it was one of the most compelling moments in his two-week murder trial.

Kyle Rittenhouse testifies about Gaige Grosskreutz holding a gun toward him during cross examination in his trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wis., on Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021. Rittenhouse is accused of killing two people and wounding a third during a protest over police brutality in Kenosha, last year. (Mark Hertzberg /Pool Photo via AP) © Provided by Associated Press Kyle Rittenhouse testifies about Gaige Grosskreutz holding a gun toward him during cross examination in his trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wis., on Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021. Rittenhouse is accused of killing two people and wounding a third during a protest over police brutality in Kenosha, last year. (Mark Hertzberg /Pool Photo via AP) Kyle Rittenhouse and defense attorney Mark Richards talk before the start of his trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wis., on Friday, Nov. 12, 2021. Rittenhouse is accused of killing two people and wounding a third during a protest over police brutality in Kenosha, last year.  (Mark Hertzberg/ /Pool Photo via AP) © Provided by Associated Press Kyle Rittenhouse and defense attorney Mark Richards talk before the start of his trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wis., on Friday, Nov. 12, 2021. Rittenhouse is accused of killing two people and wounding a third during a protest over police brutality in Kenosha, last year. (Mark Hertzberg/ /Pool Photo via AP)

It might have been the most effective part of his three-day defense, too, potentially swaying any jurors inclined toward sympathy for the 18-year-old who has claimed self-defense in the shootings that left two of the men dead.

EXPLAINER: Prosecutors play up Rittenhouse inexperience

  EXPLAINER: Prosecutors play up Rittenhouse inexperience MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Prosecutors trying to convict Kyle Rittenhouse of murder have been working to paint him as an inexperienced teenager who misrepresented his age and medical training to other armed civilians in his group on the night he shot three men during a protest against police brutality in Wisconsin last year. Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger has drawn out testimony during the first week of Rittenhouse's trial from severalAssistant District Attorney Thomas Binger has drawn out testimony during the first week of Rittenhouse's trial from several witnesses, including two military veterans, saying the Illinois teen appeared inexperienced, that he falsely claimed that he was old enough to possess a gun and tha

Defense attorney Mark Richards waits before calling Kyle Rittenhouse to the witness stand during Rittenhouse's trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wis., on Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021. Rittenhouse is accused of killing two people and wounding a third during a protest over police brutality in Kenosha, last year. (Mark Hertzberg /Pool Photo via AP) © Provided by Associated Press Defense attorney Mark Richards waits before calling Kyle Rittenhouse to the witness stand during Rittenhouse's trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wis., on Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021. Rittenhouse is accused of killing two people and wounding a third during a protest over police brutality in Kenosha, last year. (Mark Hertzberg /Pool Photo via AP)

Prosecutors say it was Rittenhouse's decision to go to Kenosha — a city wracked by protests that followed a white police officer's shooting of a Black man, Jacob Blake — and walk the streets with a rifle that led to the violence. Rittenhouse, who was 17 at the time, is charged with multiple counts including intentional and reckless homicide, as well as possession of a dangerous weapon by a minor.

EXPLAINER: Could jury weigh lesser charges for Rittenhouse?

  EXPLAINER: Could jury weigh lesser charges for Rittenhouse? MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Prosecutors in Kyle Rittenhouse's murder trial could ask the jury to consider lesser charges when it gets the case, a move that could secure a conviction for some crime but take a possible life sentence off the table. Kenosha County Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger has struggled to counter Rittenhouse's self-defense arguments during the Illinois man's trial, raising questions about whether his office overcharged Rittenhouse. Daniel Adams, a former Milwaukee County assistant district attorney who isn't involved in the trial, described Binger's case as “incredibly underwhelming.”“He's got nothing,” Adams said.

Here is a look at how the presentation went for the defense, which rested its case Thursday:

HOW DID RITTENHOUSE’S TESTIMONY GO?

The defense’s most consequential decision was to put Rittenhouse on the stand to let him tell jurors what was going through his mind when he opened fire.

Andrew Branca, a Colorado lawyer who wrote the book “The Law of Self Defense: Principles,” said on his blog about the trial that the decision was “a high-stakes bet by the defense, and one that always has risk of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.”

Defendants claiming self-defense don’t have to testify. But there’s pressure on them to do so since what they were thinking when they used lethal force is so central to determining guilt.

The risk was Rittenhouse would get tripped up, rattled or provoked by aggressive questioning from prosecutors and that he would blurt out something that hurt his case. But for most of his some six hours testifying, he was calm, answering questions politely and succinctly. He didn’t wilt or lash back.

Jury to begin deliberations at Kyle Rittenhouse murder trial

  Jury to begin deliberations at Kyle Rittenhouse murder trial KENOSHA, Wis. (AP) — Jurors will begin deliberations Tuesday at Kyle Rittenhouse's murder trial after two weeks of testimony in which prosecutors and defense attorneys painted starkly different pictures of his actions the night he shot three men on the streets of Kenosha. Prosecutors claimed in closing arguments Monday that Rittenhouse was a “wannabe soldier” who provoked bloodshed by bringing a semi-automatic rifle to a protest and menacing others, then walking off like a “hero in a Western” after killing two men and wounding a third. © Provided by Associated Press A lone protester stands outside the Kenosha County Courthouse, late Monday, Nov.

Kyle Rittenhouse breaks down on the stand as he testifies about his encounter with the late Joseph Rosenbaum during his trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wis., on Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021.  Rittenhouse is accused of killing two people and wounding a third during a protest over police brutality in Kenosha, last year. (Mark Hertzberg  /Pool Photo via AP) © Provided by Associated Press Kyle Rittenhouse breaks down on the stand as he testifies about his encounter with the late Joseph Rosenbaum during his trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wis., on Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021. Rittenhouse is accused of killing two people and wounding a third during a protest over police brutality in Kenosha, last year. (Mark Hertzberg /Pool Photo via AP)

When lead prosecutor Thomas Binger pressed Rittenhouse, asking him if it was true that he intended to kill all three men. “I didn’t intend to kill them," Rittenhouse responded. “I intended to stop the people who were attacking me.”

His display of apparent emotion just minutes into his testimony, leading the judge to call a brief recess, may have helped his cause with jurors, some legal experts said.

Corey Chirafisi, an attorney for Kyle Rittenhouse, questions Jacob Marshall, former roommate of the late Gaige Grosskreutz, during the trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wis., on Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021. Rittenhouse is accused of killing two people and wounding a third during a protest over police brutality in Kenosha, last year. (Sean Krajacic/The Kenosha News via AP, Pool) © Provided by Associated Press Corey Chirafisi, an attorney for Kyle Rittenhouse, questions Jacob Marshall, former roommate of the late Gaige Grosskreutz, during the trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wis., on Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021. Rittenhouse is accused of killing two people and wounding a third during a protest over police brutality in Kenosha, last year. (Sean Krajacic/The Kenosha News via AP, Pool)

“There is public debate as to the sincerity of Rittenhouse’s tears,” said Louis J. Shapiro, a Los Angeles lawyer. “If the jury accepts them as genuine, then it will bode well for Rittenhouse.”

Kyle Rittenhouse trial: Jury still deliberating verdict as judge considers mistrial over drone video

  Kyle Rittenhouse trial: Jury still deliberating verdict as judge considers mistrial over drone video Jurors in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial were to deliberate for a third day while the judge considers a request from the defense for a mistrial. Your browser does not support this video A key piece of evidence in the prosecution's case — a drone video that shows Rittenhouse fatally shooting the first man he fired at on the night of Aug. 25, 2020 — was called into question Wednesday when Rittenhouse's defense lawyers said they received a lower quality version of the clip.

Mark Richards, lead attorney for Kyle Rittenhouse, left, with help from Kenosha Police Department Detective Ben Antaramian, right, gets help demonstrating how the Joseph Rosenbaum could have gotten shot in the hand by Kyle Rittenhouse as Dr. Douglas Kelley, a forensic pathologist with the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office, center, testifies at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wis., on Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021. (Mark Hertzberg /Pool Photo via AP) © Provided by Associated Press Mark Richards, lead attorney for Kyle Rittenhouse, left, with help from Kenosha Police Department Detective Ben Antaramian, right, gets help demonstrating how the Joseph Rosenbaum could have gotten shot in the hand by Kyle Rittenhouse as Dr. Douglas Kelley, a forensic pathologist with the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office, center, testifies at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wis., on Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021. (Mark Hertzberg /Pool Photo via AP)

Branca, who told The Associated Press previously he thought Rittenhouse should be acquitted, said Rittenhouse's testimony went well for the defense.

WHAT ELSE STOOD OUT ABOUT THE DEFENSE CASE?

The defense achieved much even before it was their turn, during the prosecution's portion of the case. Some witnesses for the state clearly helped the defense more.

A stark example was when one of the prosecution's earliest witnesses, videographer Richie McGinniss, described the first man Rittenhouse killed, Joseph Rosenbaum charging Rittenhouse, screaming “F--- you!” and lunging for Rittenhouse’s rifle.

It was also prosecutors who entered the extensive video evidence that backed the defense view that Rittenhouse was being chased when he shot Rosenbaum and, moments later, Anthony Huber and Gaige Grosskreutz. Their video showed Grosskreutz with a gun in his hand as he approached Rittenhouse.

Kyle Rittenhouse Found Not Guilty of All Charges in Fatal Shooting of 2 Men At Black Lives Matter Protest

  Kyle Rittenhouse Found Not Guilty of All Charges in Fatal Shooting of 2 Men At Black Lives Matter Protest Kyle Rittenhouse, then 17, was accused of homicide for using an AR-style rifle to kill two people during a protest over police brutality in Kenosha, Wisc., last yearJurors embraced the claim that Kyle Rittenhouse was defending himself when he fatally shot two men and injured a third last year, clearing him of homicide Friday along with all related charges that included recklessly brandishing a dangerous weapon during a Black Lives Matter protest over police brutality in Kenosha, Wisc.

Mark Richards, lead attorney for Kyle Rittenhouse, left, with help from Kenosha Police Department Detective Ben Antaramian, right, gets help demonstrating how the Joseph Rosenbaum could have gotten shot in the hand by Kyle Rittenhouse as Dr. Douglas Kelley, a forensic pathologist with the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office, center, testifies at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wis., on Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021. (Mark Hertzberg /Pool Photo via AP) © Provided by Associated Press Mark Richards, lead attorney for Kyle Rittenhouse, left, with help from Kenosha Police Department Detective Ben Antaramian, right, gets help demonstrating how the Joseph Rosenbaum could have gotten shot in the hand by Kyle Rittenhouse as Dr. Douglas Kelley, a forensic pathologist with the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office, center, testifies at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wis., on Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021. (Mark Hertzberg /Pool Photo via AP)

Joe Lopez, a Chicago-based defense attorney, said he didn’t see calling such witnesses as a mistake by prosecutors. He said prosecutors often want to be the ones entering evidence that is unavoidably favorable to the defense rather than leaving it for the defense to do.

WHAT ELSE DID THE DEFENSE ACCOMPLISH?

Since so many key issues were broached and thrashed out in cross-examination during the state’s weeklong case, the defense had less to do.

Besides putting Rittenhouse on the stand for much of Wednesday, the defense also called a series of witnesses in an effort to show he displayed no aggression or ill-intent on the night, and helped to clean graffiti that day and put out fires at night.

With prosecutors trying to focus jurors on the totality of what Rittenhouse did, starting with his decision to come to Kenosha with a gun, the defense tried to steer them toward a much more micro view, with one defense expert zeroing in Thursday on the 2 minutes, 55 seconds from when Rosenbaum started chasing Rittenhouse.

“Self-defense is the debate that the defense wants the jury having in the jury room,” Shapiro said. “Not the question of why didn’t Rittenhouse mind his own business” and stay away from the protest.

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Find the AP’s full coverage of the Rittenhouse trial at https://apnews.com/hub/kyle-rittenhouse and follow Michael Tarm on Twitter at https://twitter.com/mtarm.

Protesters trace route Rittenhouse took in Kenosha .
KENOSHA, Wis. (AP) — Several dozen people gathered below the wind-whipped Wisconsin flag at Kenosha's Civic Center Park on Sunday and warmed up with chants for justice before taking to the streets in protest of the acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse. Demonstrators traced the route Rittenhouse took the night in August last year when he shot and killed two people and wounded a third during protests over police brutality. They carried signs that said “Reject Racist Vigilante Terror” and “THE WHOLE SYSTEM IS GUILTY!” A couple of protesters carried long guns.

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