MICHAEL THARM, SCOTT BAUER and AMY FORLITY
KENOSHA, Wisconsin (AP) – Jurors on the Kyle Rittenhouse murder debated a third full day without a sentence on Thursday, while a judge barred MSNBC from visiting the courthouse after a network freelance was accused of following the jury in their bus. …
The jury members will return on Friday morning to resume their work. Unlike the previous days, on Thursday they had no questions or requests to review any evidence in a politically and racially dangerous case.
Rittenhouse, 18, is on trial for killing two men and wounding a third with a rifle during a tumultuous night of protests that erupted in Kenosha in the summer of 2020 after a black man, Jacob Blake, was shot and killed by a white police officer.
Even as the jury weighed the evidence, two requests for a wrong trial by the defense were looming over the case, which could change the verdict if the jury convicted Rittenhouse. One of these requests asks the judge to go even further and prohibit prosecutors from reconsidering his case.
Also Thursday, District Judge Bruce Schroeder banned MSNBC after police said they briefly detained a man who was following a jury bus and may have tried to photograph the jury.
In a statement, NBC News said the man was a freelancer who was charged with a traffic violation that happened near the jury’s car and that he “never took or intended to photograph them.”
Before the jury left at about 4:00 pm at the judge’s request, one of them asked if she could take the jury’s instructions home, and the judge agreed, but told her that she could not talk to anyone about them. Before the discussion, Schroeder read to the jury about 36 pages of instructions on the charges and self-defense laws.
After the jury had served, Rittenhouse attorney Mark Richards told the judge that he feared that allowing members to take the instructions home would lead the jury to look up information in a dictionary or conduct their own research.
Tom Grieve, Milwaukee’s attorney and ex-attorney not involved in the case, called the move “definitely unusual in my experience.” “The natural problem is that it will speed up chair exploration and table discussion,” he said.
At the end of the day, the jury looked tired, but no more than at the end of the first day. No one looked visibly upset. The two jurors talked amiably to each other as they walked out the door.
Rittenhouse was a 17-year-old ex-youth police cadet when he traveled to Kenosha to, he says, protect property after rebels set fire to and looted businesses the previous nights.
He shot and killed 36-year-old Joseph Rosenbaum and 26-year-old Anthony Huber and wounded Gaige Grosskreutz, now 28. Rittenhouse is white, like those he shot.
Rittenhouse said he acted in self-defense following the attack, while prosecutors claimed he provoked the bloodshed.
This case exposed deep divisions among Americans over weapons, racial injustice, vigilance, and self-defense in the United States.
For some civil rights activists, the shooting was an attack on the racial justice movement, and some complained of double racial standards against Rittenhouse by law enforcement that night.
The defense twice asked the judge to declare a faulty trial, arguing that they had been provided with a poor-quality copy of a potentially important video and that the prosecution asked Rittenhow the wrong questions during cross-examination.
Schroeder said the wrong trial would be dealt with if convicted. If Rittenhouse was acquitted, the dispute would not matter. But if he is found guilty and then the judge declares a wrong trial, it will overturn the sentence.
Rittenhouse could receive a life sentence if he was found guilty of the most serious charges.
Forliti reported from Minneapolis, Bauer from Madison, Wisconsin. Associated Press writers Tammy Webber of Fenton, Michigan and Todd Richmond of Madison contributed to this story.
Check out the full description of the Rittenhouse study provided by AP: https://apnews.com/hub/kyle-rittenhouse