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Crime: Things we've learned from Kyle Rittenhouse's trial that challenged challenge assumptions that emerged over the last 15 months.

EXPLAINER: Does Kyle Rittenhouse need to testify?

  EXPLAINER: Does Kyle Rittenhouse need to testify? MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Defense attorneys typically encourage their clients to testify in self-defense cases. But Kyle Rittenhouse's murder trial is anything but typical and it's still unclear whether the Illinois man will take the stand to explain to jurors what he was thinking when he shot three people during a protest in Wisconsin last year. Rittenhouse's attorney, Mark Richards, told the jury during opening statements last week that they would hear from Rittenhouse himself about how protesters were carrying rocks.

Kyle Rittenhouse's homicide trial in Wisconsin has been highlighted by the emotional testimony of the 18-year-old man whose actions as a minor have become emblematic of a divided America.

KENOSHA, WISCONSIN - NOVEMBER 17: Kyle Rittenhouse listens as attorneys discuss the potential for a mistrial during Rittenhouse's trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse on November 17, 2021 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Rittenhouse is accused of shooting three demonstrators, killing two of them, during a night of unrest that erupted in Kenosha after a police officer shot Jacob Blake seven times in the back while being arrested in August 2020. Rittenhouse, from Antioch, Illinois, was 17 at the time of the shooting and armed with an assault rifle. He faces counts of felony homicide and felony attempted homicide. (Photo by Sean Krajacic - Pool/Getty Images) © Sean Krajacic/Pool/Getty Images KENOSHA, WISCONSIN - NOVEMBER 17: Kyle Rittenhouse listens as attorneys discuss the potential for a mistrial during Rittenhouse's trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse on November 17, 2021 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Rittenhouse is accused of shooting three demonstrators, killing two of them, during a night of unrest that erupted in Kenosha after a police officer shot Jacob Blake seven times in the back while being arrested in August 2020. Rittenhouse, from Antioch, Illinois, was 17 at the time of the shooting and armed with an assault rifle. He faces counts of felony homicide and felony attempted homicide. (Photo by Sean Krajacic - Pool/Getty Images)

Ever since Rittenhouse fatally shot two people and wounded another just before midnight on August 25, 2020, the case has been seen by many as an example of vigilante justice carried out by an armed teen.

EXPLAINER: Did Rittenhouse lawyers do enough to prevail?

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

Others viewed what happened during a night of unrest in Kenosha as the actions of a citizen taking up arms to protect businesses from looters and rioters.

Rittenhouse has pleaded not guilty to five felony charges related to the unrest that followed the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man.

Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, were killed, and Gaige Grosskreutz, now 27, was wounded.

Trial testimony has challenged many assumptions surrounding the case. As jurors continue deliberations, here is what we've learned from the trial:

Was Rittenhouse an outsider in Kenosha that night?

After the shooting, Rittenhouse was portrayed in some quarters as an outsider who showed up in Kenosha and had no business being on the street during nights of unrest.

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.

Rittenhouse testified that he lived in Antioch, Illinois, with his mother, while his father lived in Kenosha.

Antioch is just across the Illinois border.

He had worked as a lifeguard in Kenosha, was part of a police explorer program and knew CPR and basic life support, according to his testimony.

Rittenhouse was staying with his friend Dominick Black, who was dating the defendant's sister and testified for the prosecution.

Rittenhouse later said he knew he was not old enough to legally buy a firearm, so he asked Black to do so on his behalf.

The night of the shooting, Black and Rittenhouse each took a weapon and ammo and went to downtown Kenosha to try to protect a car dealership called Car Source, Black testified, where about six or seven other armed people had gathered.

Black testified that he climbed atop the roof of the dealership because he felt being on the ground was too dangerous. At one point, he said he heard gunshots go off in the distance in an area where Rittenhouse was.

Rittenhouse jury to resume after fresh mistrial request

  Rittenhouse jury to resume after fresh mistrial request KENOSHA, Wis. (AP) — The jury in Kyle Rittenhouse's trial was to move into a third day of deliberations Thursday, even as its request to re-watch video in the case sparked a fresh bid from his attorneys for a mistrial. © Provided by Associated Press Kyle Rittenhouse looks back before going on a break during his trail at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wis., on Monday, Nov. 15, 2021.

Nicholas Smith, the first defense witness, testified that Anmol "Sam" Khindri, one of the owners of Car Source, had asked him to help protect the dealership. Smith's testimony contradicted Khindri and his brother, who told jurors they never asked anyone to protect the car lot.

Smith, 23, said he reached out to Rittenhouse's friend after he came across a video posted on Snapchat showing Black at the protests the previous night.

Was he there to treat the injured?

According to Rittenhouse's own testimony, he lied about being an EMT on the night of the shooting. He testified that he is studying nursing at Arizona State University.

At one point during cross-examination, the jury was shown a video in which Rittenhouse falsely tells the camera he was a certified emergency medical technician.

"I told him I was an EMT but I wasn't," Rittenhouse testified.

In closing arguments, the state labeled Rittenhouse a "fraud" and compared him to a "quack doctor" who lied about his medical experience.

Did he bring the weapon across state lines?

After the shooting and his arrest, many people questioned whether the then-minor had transported the illegal gun across state lines.

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.

Black testified he had previously purchased an AR-15 firearm for Rittenhouse in Wisconsin.

Rittenhouse was too young to purchase and possess a gun, but he agreed to pay Black for the firearm, Black told jurors.

Black testified that he also had his own firearm, and they had fired the weapons in target practice in a rural area.

Black has been charged with two counts of intentionally giving a dangerous weapon to a person under the age of 18 causing death, according to court records. He has pleaded not guilty. He testified that he hoped taking the stand would lead to leniency in his case.

On Monday, Judge Bruce Schroeder dismissed the misdemeanor weapons charge against Rittenhouse, now 18.

The charge of possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under 18 was punishable by up to nine months in prison. The count was thrown out due to the odd wording of Wisconsin's gun laws.

Schroeder dismissed the misdemeanor charge, noting that the weapon was longer than the measurements required for it to be an illegal "short-barreled rifle" under state law.

Wisconsin law states, "any person under 18 years of age who possesses or goes armed with a dangerous weapon is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor."

A subsection of the statute adds, in part, "This section applies only to a person under 18 years of age who possesses or is armed with a rifle or a shotgun if the person is in violation of s. 941.28."

Rittenhouse lawyers' trial playbook: Don't 'crusade,' defend

  Rittenhouse lawyers' trial playbook: Don't 'crusade,' defend Soon after a Wisconsin jury acquitted Kyle Rittenhouse of all charges against him, defense attorney Mark Richards took a swipe at his predecessors, telling reporters that their tactics — leaning into Rittenhouse's portrayal as a rallying point for the right to carry weapons and defend oneself — were not his. “I was hired by the two first lawyers. I’m not going to use their names,” Richards said Friday. “They wanted to use Kyle for a cause and something that I think was inappropriate — and I don’t represent causes. I represent clients.

The 941.28 subsections state the illegality would only apply to those armed with a "short-barreled rifle," which is also defined as "a rifle having one or more barrels having a length of less than 16 inches" and "a rifle having an overall length of less than 26 inches."

Were his victims rioting?

Rittenhouse fatally shot Rosenbaum -- who was chasing the teenager and threw a bag at him -- and then tried to flee.

A crowd of people pursued the teenager, and Rittenhouse shot at an unidentified man who tried to kick him. He then fatally shot Huber, who had hit him with a skateboard, according to trial testimony and video evidence presented.

He wounded Grosskreutz, a paramedic who was armed with a pistol and later testified pointing it at Rittenhouse. On redirect questioning by the prosecution, Grosskreutz clarified that he never intentionally pointed his gun at Rittenhouse.

The prosecution portrayed people who confronted the teen as "heroes" trying to stop what they believed to be an active shooting.

Prosecutor Thomas Binger, in closing arguments, told the jury that Rosenbaum had tipped over an empty Porta Potty, swung a chain, lit a metal garbage dumpster and wooden trailer on fire, and used the N-word the night of the shooting.

"If he were alive today ... I'd probably try to prosecute him for arson. But I can't because the defendant killed him," Binger told jurors.

Binger added, "When you commit arson, we prosecute. We don't execute you on the street."

Rittenhouse testified he acted in self-defense when he shot four times at Rosenbaum, who he said had threatened him earlier, chased him, thrown a bag at him and lunged for his gun.

Kyle Rittenhouse acquittal sparks protests across US

  Kyle Rittenhouse acquittal sparks protests across US Demonstrations sprang up nationwide in protest of the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict Friday night. The verdict sparked outrage among those who feared an acquittal would embolden vigilantism, and anger in the families of the men shot who were seeking accountability and justice. Others, including pro-gun conservatives, have hailed Rittenhouse as a hero who was protecting private property from rioters.

Jason Lackowski, a former Marine who testified for the state, said Rosenbaum acted "belligerently" and asked to be shot but was not perceived as a serious threat.

Rittenhouse referred to the three other people he shot at as part of a "mob" chasing him.

In closing arguments, defense attorney Mark Richards said Rittenhouse feared for his life when he pulled the trigger.

"Every person who was shot was attacking Kyle. One with a skateboard, one with his hands, and one with his feet, one with a gun," Richards said. "Hands and feet can cause great bodily harm."

Grosskreutz testified he pulled out his own firearm because he believed Rittenhouse was an active shooter. He said was a trained paramedic and treated about 10 people that night, including one who had a serious cut after being hit by a rubber bullet.

During his testimony, Rittenhouse said Huber was "holding a skateboard like a baseball bat," which he swung down, hitting Rittenhouse in the neck. Richards, the defense attorney, said before Rittenhouse shot Huber, the shooting victim "strikes him in the head" and is going for a "second lick," adding Huber's "other hand goes for the gun" in Rittenhouse's hand.

Binger asked jurors to contrast the teen's behavior with Huber's actions.

"A man who was there because he knew Jacob Blake, who carried his skateboard everywhere, and who rushed towards danger to save other people's lives," Binger said, referring to Huber.

Is he a member of a White supremacist group?

There was no evidence presented at trial about this.

Before trial, Schroeder sided with the defense in denying motions by prosecutors seeking to admit evidence showing what they say was Rittenhouse's alleged association with the Proud Boys, a far-right group linked to political violence.

The state claimed that months after the Kenosha shooting, Rittenhouse went to a local bar with his mother about 90 minutes after his arraignment. Rittenhouse posed for pictures with individuals seen flashing the "OK" sign, which prosecutors said has been co-opted as a sign of "White power" by known White supremacist groups.

Prosecutors argued that some of the people he posed with were in the "highest echelons" of the Wisconsin chapter of the Proud Boys.

The defense argued there was no evidence Rittenhouse knew who they were. The judge agreed.

"For me to let that in as evidence for a motive that existed four months earlier? Can't see it," Schroeder said.

Acquitted and in demand, Rittenhouse ponders what's next .
KENOSHA, Wis. (AP) — When he was acquitted of murder in shootings during unrest in Wisconsin, Kyle Rittenhouse went from staring at possible life behind bars to red-hot star of the right: an exclusive interview with Tucker Carlson and a visit with Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago capped by a photo of both men smiling and snapping a thumbs-up. For Rittenhouse, a year of legal uncertainty over whether his claim of self-defense would stand up has given way to uncertainty over what’s next. He told Carlson, in an appearance that spiked the host’s ratings by some 40%, that he hoped to become a nurse or maybe even a lawyer. He planned to “lay low” but would for sure leave the Midwest.

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