University of Minnesota Student News

Rittenhouse Found Not Guilty on All Charges

December 1, 2021

Eighteen-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse was found not guilty of all six charges brought against him related to the fatal shooting of two men during the Kenosha riots. Rittenhouse, upon hearing the verdict, collapsed to his chair in relief. 

The six charges against Rittenhouse were first-degree intentional homicide, attempted first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless homicide, first-degree recklessly endangering safety, and another first-degree recklessly endangering safety. All the charges were acquitted beyond reasonable doubt that Rittenhouse acted in self-defense. 

The team of attorneys that defended Rittenhouse was led by attorney Mark Richards. Richards and his team were able to provide evidence and ask successful questions in cross-examination that would prove Rittenhouse’s innocence. One such case was the cross-examination of the man who Rittenhouse shot in the arm, Gaige Grosskreutz. During the cross-examination, Richards’ team was able to ask Grosskreutz if he was chasing Rittenhouse before the shooting. Grosskreutz, under oath, denied chasing Rittenhouse; however, under further questioning, he states that he was running in the direction of Rittenhouse and it had something to do with Rittenhouse. Another situation where the Defense was shining was when they decided to put Rittenhouse up on the podium. This was a shining moment of the trial where Rittenhouse was able to say why he shot the two men and the events on the night of August 25, 2020.

Throughout the trial, there were multiple videos showing the event unfold. Both footages showed Rittenhouse being chased by a man and was then shot. Following Rittenhouse shooting the man, Joesph Rosenbaum. Rittenhouse was then chased by a mob of people thinking he was an active shooter. Rittenhouse was surrounded and hit in the head by a skateboard by Anthony Huber. Huber was also fatally shot by Rittenhouse. The last person that was shot was Gaige Grosskreutz who pulled his gun out at Rittenhouse and was shot in the arm as a result. Rittenhouse was then seen running away and surrendering himself to the police following the event. 

The prosecution was unsuccessful to get a solid case against Rittenhouse. As the trial went on, the case against Rittenhouse fell apart. In addition, the prosecution caught the scrutiny of the Judge when questioning Rittenhouse’s right to remain silent before the trial. Later in the trial, the prosecutor was not able to gain a case against Rittenhouse when asking questions related to Rittenhouse playing the popular video game Call of Duty and also questioning about his social media account, TikTok, username, and account. The lead prosecutor, Thomas Binger, was criticized by approach to the trial and how he questioned Rittenhouse. 

The deliberation of the trial took almost three days, but it was worth the wait for Rittenhouse. After being found not guilty on all charges Rittenhouse was able to enjoy freedom for the first time since August of 2020. The night following Kyles’s release he was able to go on Fox News with his first interview about the trial and was able to give his point of view of the night in Kenosha. During the interview, the comment of President Joe Biden calling Rittenhouse a white supremacist came up and Rittenhouse responded by telling Biden to “understand the facts before making a statement.” The claim the Biden made has made it possible for Rittenhouse to sue the current president of the united states but it has not been seriously talked about by Rittenhouse. Rittenhouse might also have a similar defamation lawsuit outcome to Covington Catholic student, Nick Sandman made $275 million off a defamation lawsuit against CNN. Also following the trial, Rittenhouse was invited by 45th President Donald Trump to his mar-a-lago estate in Florida. Rittenhouse was also greeted by Governer of Florida, Ron DeSantis on his trip. 

Everything is still not good for Rittenhouse after the trial. Rittenhouse had to hire bodyguards to protect him while he is out around his hometown. People are still trying to ruin his life by accusing Rittenhouse of what he was found not guilty for. Rittenhouse is a current student at Arizona State University and following the trial, his fellow students have made a petition to kick him out of school because he was not held accountable for the “crimes he committed.” Students at ASU have also organized protests against Rittenhouse.

The Trial was one step towards normality for Rittenhouse, but it can be said his life is changed from the events of Kenosha and the trial. It’s a long road ahead for the eighteen-year-old and time can only tell what will happen for him.

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