November 15th began the three weeks of the Rittenhouse trial.
Week two of the Rittenhouse rial ended the evidence period of the trial, and week 3 began with final motions and jury instructions.
Final arguments will follow, and the Jury will deliberate.
So what did the third week of trials unveil?
Let’s take a Look.
Monday November 15th, 2021: Jury Instructions
The day began with a final discussion on the laws of the case in preparation for Jury instruction. The Judge dismissed the 6th charge against Rittenhouse, which was Possession of a Dangerous Weapon Under 18 because he was not in possession of an illegal firearm.
Following this discussion, the Jury received instructions in preparation for the final arguments. Last week a motion to call a mistrial for the prosecutor’s misconduct was filed with the Court. The Defense raised this issue, stating that they had filled the motion in writing and needed his opinion on the motion. The Judge replied that he would, but not at the moment.
DA Binger Makes Final Argument
He lays out that Rittenhouse stayed out after a city-wide curfew and traveled to Kenosha from his home with a gun he did not own and killed two unarmed people. Playing through the video footage starting with drone footage of the shooting, as well as FBI surveillance footage in which Binger alleges that Rittenhouse intentionally pointed his AR-15 at the Ziminsky’s. This prompted Rosenbaum to pursue him. At which Rittenhouse fled before turning pointing his gun at Rosenbaum. Then he turns to flee again before he finally turns back and shoots Rosenbaum.
During the trial, Binger waived Rittenhouse’s firearm about the Court recklessly in an attempt to show how intimidating it may be.
Defense Makes Final Argument
Defense attorney Richards followed up Binger’s argument by attempting to illustrate that Rosenbaum was a man who was off his meds, likely just got out of jail, and was looking to cause trouble. He then broke down each shooting moment by moment, frame by frame, in an attempt to illustrate that Rittenhouse acted entirely out of self Defense. Richards attacked the Prosecution’s argument that Rittenhouse pointed a gun at Ziminsky by attacking the only evidence of the claim as “hocus pocus out of focus.” He finished by ensuring that the Prosecution is only theorizing their story, and Rittenhouse should be acquitted for self-Defense.
Prosecutor James Kraus opened up the rebuttal by trying to illustrate that Rosenbaum did not pose a severe threat to Rittenhouse. Closing his argument that Rittenhouse had not acted in self-defense.
The Judge Gave Jury Final Instructions
Finally, the Judge gave the Jury its final instructions and imparted to them the importance of making an honest and justified verdict.
Minutes from the Court Record
Minutes: Day 11. Clerk/T. Lema. Same appearances. Draft No. 3 proposed jury instructions sent to attys over the weekend. Discussion held. Defense is moving to dismiss Count 6; State objects. Arguments heard. Count 6 is dismissed. Defense renews their motion for mistrial w/prejudice; still under advisement by the Court. Jurors reconvene @ 9:52am. Final instructions given to the jury. Closing arguments commence. Break during the State’s closing argument; lunch brought in. Jurors excused @ 11:52am. To resume @ 12:45pm. Jurors reconvene @ 12:53pm. State continues with their closing argument. Court takes a short recess @ 2:08pm prior to commencing deft’s closing argument. Jurors reconvene @ 2:30pm. Defense closing argument heard; defense concluded their closing argument @ 4:36pm. Court takes a short break. Jurors reconvene @ 4:54pm. State gives rebuttal argument; interrupted to address an objection. State’s rebuttal argument resumes. State concludes their rebuttal argument @ 5:51pm. Jurors released @ 6pm; instructed to return @ 9am on 11/16/21 @ 9am.Minutes From Court Record
Tuesday November 16th, 2021: Jury Deliberates Day 1
Today Rittenhouse drew numbers to narrow down the final Jury from 18 to 12. ANd the Jury has set off to deliberate the matter and reach a verdict. The deliberation room is private, and no one will know the decision until they get a verdict.
Minutes from Court Record
Minutes: Day 12. Clerk/T. Lema. Same appearances. Jurors reconvene @ 9:08am. Six alternates selected. Remaining twelve jurors commence deliberations @ 9:14am. Lunch brought in for the jury. Jurors reconvene @ 5:48pm; jurors wish to break for the night and come back tomorrow to continue deliberations. Jurors released @ 5:55pm. Jurors to return @ 9am on 11/17/21. Six extra jurors brought into courtroom @ 5:57pm. Instructed to return @ 9am on 11/17/21; six alternates released @ 5:59pm.
Wednesday November 17th, 2021: Jury Deliberates Day 2
The Jury is still deliberating. The Jury has now requested to rewatch the footage.
The Court seems willing to depart from the tradition of closely guarding footage as not to overemphasize certain evidence. The Court seems to be willing to give the Jury full access to certain footage so they can watch it on their own. This would be a deviation from the norm, and maybe an inevitable change in the courts.
Minutes from Court Record
Minutes: Day 13. Clerk/P. Trossen. Same appearances. Jurors reconvene @ 9:00 AM and deliberations continue. Arguments heard outside the presence of the jury regarding questions received from the jurors. Court reopens evidence to allow in DE’s exhibits 157, 158 and 159. DE moves for mistrial. Further arguments made and video exhibits to be played for the jury. Jurors released @ 4:31 pm and instructed to return at 9:00 AM on 11/18/21 to continue deliberations. Six extra jurors brought into courtroom @ 4:34 PM and instructed to return @ 9am on 11/18/21.
Breaking news suggests that the Defense has added a complaint to their motion for mistrial. Citing that the Defense intentionally withheld higher quality drone footage until after Evidence closed.
Thursday November 18th, 2021: Jury Deliberates Day 3
Minutes from Court Record
Minutes: Day 14. Clerk/T. Lema. Same appearances. Jurors return @ 9am to continue deliberations. Court issued statement regarding traffic arrest of person claiming to be employed by MSNBC. Lunch brought in for the jurors. Jurors continue to deliberate this afternoon. Jurors reconvene @ 4:05pm in the courtroom; the jurors wish to break for the day and resume again on 11/19/21 @ 9am. Jurors excused @ 4:07pm. Alternate jurors summoned into courtroom at 4:08pm; released @ 4:09pm; instructed to return @ 9am. Record will reflect that one of the twelve jurors asked if they could take their copy of the jury instructions home; request is approved.
Friday, November 19th, 2021: Rittenhouse Acquitted
The verdict has been reached, and Rittenhouse is acquitted of all charges.
Minutes from the Court
Minutes: Day 15. Clerk/T. Lema. Same appearances. Jurors continue deliberations. Verdict has been reached. Extra jurors summoned into courtroom @ 12:10pm. Twelve jurors summoned into the courtroom @ 12:11pm. Verdicts read. Deft found not guilty on five counts. No request to poll the jury. Jurors excused @ 12:17pm. Defense moves for judgment on the verdict. Defense motion is granted. Case dismissed with prejudice. Issue of bond will be addressed at a later hrg.