Despite the fact that jurors have been deliberating for two days in the trial of accused killer Kyle Rittenhouse, Wednesday was still a contentious day inside the Kenosha County Courthouse.
Twelve jurors, chosen at random by Rittenhouse himself, will continue to deliberate Thursday, their third day of working to decide the 18-year-old’s fate.
Rittenhouse is accused of killing two and recklessly injuring another stemming from an August 25, 2020 riot in Kenosha.
Defense attorneys argue that Rittenhouse, 17 at the time of the shootings, killed rioters Jeffrey Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber in self-defense. They also claim that he injured Gaige Grosskreutz, another rioter, in self-defense.
Prosecutors see it differently.
They claim that Rittenhouse provoked the attacks against himself, thus nullifying his right to self-defense.
But Wednesday’s conflict between attorney’s stemmed from drone footage of the incident, introduced by the state, which shows the seconds leading up to the shooting of one of the rioters.
Rittenhouse’s attorneys say that the state, led by Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger, provided the defense with a copy of the footage that was lower in resolution than the copy presented by the state during the trial and closing arguments.
“During the jury instructions conference, the defense played their version for the court to review,” defense attorneys Mark Richards and Corey Chirafisi said in a motion for a mistrial without prejudice. “The state indicated that their version was much clearer and had their tech person come into court to review their clearer video.”
This discrepancy in resolution, according to the defense, amounts to hiding evidence from them. Each party is entitled to know all of the evidence that the other party will present.
Judge Bruce Shroeder is taking that motion under advisement, and could rule on it at any point, even after the jury returns a verdict.
A mistrial without prejudice would open the door for the state to prosecute Rittenhouse again.
If convicted on all charges, Rittenhouse could spend the rest of his life in prison.
The jury will return to the courtroom at 9 a.m. Central Time on Thursday.
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