Kyle Rittenhouse, who was accused of first-degree homicide among other counts after a night of race-fueled riots in Kenosha, Wis., was acquitted of all charges Friday.
“I didn’t do anything wrong. I defended myself,” Rittenhouse said during his testimony.
Rittenhouse faced five counts: First-degree reckless homicide, two charges of first-degree reckless endangerment, first-degree intentional homicide, and attempted first-degree intentional homicide. If found guilty, the 18-year-old faced punishment up to life in prison. He was found not guilty in every case.
Kyle Rittenhouse broke down in tears and collapsed to the floor when the jury found him not guilty.
Get this man all the beers. pic.twitter.com/fCmJqosUDE
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) November 19, 2021
As Rittenhouse collapsed, hugging his attorneys, Judge Bruce Schroeder praised the jury members for their careful deliberation.
“Without commenting on the verdicts themselves, in terms of the attentiveness and cooperation you gave to us, justifies the confidence that the founders of our country placed in you.”
The jury convened after reviewing video evidence of Rittenhouse defending himself with an AR-15-style rifle against Joseph Rosenbaum, Anthony Huber, and Gaige Grosskreutz in August 2020. Rittenhouse fatally shot Rosenbaum and Huber, and wounded Grosskreutz, in what has now been ruled an act of self-defense.
“I didn’t intend to kill them. I intended to stop the people who were attacking me,” Rittenhouse said. “I did what I had to do to stop the person who was attacking me.”
Despite testimonies from key witnesses that Rosenbaum threatened to kill Rittenhouse and lunged for his gun, Kenosha Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger claimed Rittenhouse provoked Rosenbaum.
“You cannot claim self-defense against a danger you create. That’s critical right here. If you’re the one who’s threatening others, you lose the right to claim self-defense,” Binger said.
During the trial, Schroeder accused prosecuting attorneys of skewing the trial by distorting video evidence and yelled at them for misconduct at multiple points.
The highly awaited verdict came after two weeks of trial and four days of deliberation by the jury. In the time it took for Rittenhouse’s name to be cleared, corporate media defamed him as a murderer and President Joe Biden called the boy a “white supremacist,” ignoring the fact that Rosenbaum, Huber, and Grosskreutz were all white themselves.
The Rittenhouse family, who was present throughout the trial, broke into tears as Schroeder announced the not-guilty verdict Friday.