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Kyle Rittenhouse Trial Live: Closing Arguments Begin Before Case Heads to Jury

NOTE: NBC Chicago will provide a live feed from the courtroom as available throughout the trial. Watch live in the player above. Closing arguments began Monday in Kyle Rittenhouse’s murder trial, with the case expected to go to the jury soon after. The jury that will decide Kyle Rittenhouse’s fate will be allowed to consider some lesser charges in addition to those prosecutors originally brought against him, after fierce debate by both sides on Friday. Closing arguments in the case are expected to take upwards of four to five hours. Judge Bruce Schroeder will then reduce the number of jurors from 18 to 12 by drawing names out of a tumbler in much the same way lottery numbers are chosen. Rittenhouse, now 18, killed two men and wounded a third during a night of turbulent demonstrations against racial injustice in Kenosha in the summer of 2020. The former police youth cadet from Antioch, Illinois, was in Kenosha with an AR-style semi-automatic rifle and a medical kit in what he said was an effort to protect property from the damaging protests that broke out over the shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, by a white Kenosha police officer. Kyle Rittenhouse Nov 10 Re-Watch Kyle Rittenhouse's Full Testimony as He Took Stand at His Murder Trial Kyle Rittenhouse Nov 10 Emotional Kyle Rittenhouse Describes Moments He Shot 3 People During Kenosha Unrest While Rittenhouse is white, as were those he shot, the case has stirred debate over vigilantism, the right to bear arms and the unrest that erupted around the U.S. that summer over the killing of George Floyd and other police violence against Black people. Wisconsin’s self-defense law allows someone to use deadly force only if “necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm.” The jury must decide whether Rittenhouse believed he was in such peril and whether that belief was reasonable under the circumstances. LIVE COVERAGE: A live feed of Kyle Rittenhouse’s murder trial is available when court is in session. Here are the latest updates as the case unfolds before the jury. (This will be updated as court resumes Monday) — “There is no doubt the defendant committed these crimes,” Prosecutor Thomas Binger told the jury as he wrapped up his closing arguments. “No reasonable person would have done what the defendant did and that makes your decision easy,” he said. “He is guilty of all counts.” After a 20 minute break, the defense will begin its closings. When they conclude, prosecutors will get a half hour to rebut the points brought up during that closing. As it is the prosecution’s burden to prove Rittenhouse guilty, they get the last word. — Prosecutor Binger quickly gets to the heart of his argument. “When the defendant provokes the incident, he loses the right to self defense,” he tells the jury. “You cannot claim self defense over a danger you create.” — Prosecutor Thomas Binger has begun his closing arguments in the case against Kyle Rittenhouse. “I think we can all agree, we shouldn’t have 17-year-olds running around with AR-15s, because this is what happens,” he tells the jury. — Judge halts the reading of jury instructions for a conference on the lesser charges. He wants them not to consider the lesser charges if they agree, guilty or not guilty, on the more significant charge. Prosecutions says that’s not the law. — In the instructions regarding the homicide charge against Rittenhouse, the judge cautions the jury: “you should make every reasonable effort to unanimously agree on the charge of first degree intentional homicide before moving on to the second.” — Jury instructions begin. This will take about 45 minutes. They are hearing first about the law regarding self defense. — The judge at Kyle Rittenhouse’s murder trial has dismissed a count of possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under 18. The charge is only a misdemeanor, but it had appeared to be among the likeliest to net a conviction for prosecutors. There’s no dispute that Rittenhouse was 17 when he carried an AR-style semi-automatic rifle on the streets of Kenosha in August 2020 and used it to kill two men and wound a third. But the defense argued that Wisconsin’s statute had an exception that could be read to clear Rittenhouse. That exception involves whether or not a rifle or shotgun is short-barreled. After prosecutors conceded in court Monday that Rittenhouse’s rifle was not short-barreled, Judge Schroeder dismissed the charge. — Closing arguments in the case are expected to take up to four to five hours. Judge Schroeder will then reduce the number of jurors from 18 to 12 by drawing names out of a tumbler in much the same way lottery numbers are chosen. — Judge Schroeder has already denied some of the lesser charge requests but said he will notify the attorneys of his final decisions by email on Saturday. — The arguments over what would be in the jury instructions were contentious at times, with attorneys rehashing debates they had earlier in the trial or in pretrial hearings. At one point, as the two sides debated about what a particular photo showed, Judge Schroeder lost his temper, snapping: “You’re asking me to give an instruction. I want to see the best picture!” — The process of hammering out jury instructions has begun. The prosecution will be asking for less included charges on all the counts still pending. The judge says he will decide on Saturday. — Prosecutors asked for adding lesser counts of second-degree attempted intentional homicide, first-degree reckless endangerment and second-degree reckless endangerment. Rittenhouse’s attorney did not object to the second-degree attempted homicide count, but he did object to adding the reckless endangerment counts, saying he doesn’t believe someone can “attempt to be reckless.” Schroeder said he would mull it over but was inclined to agree with prosecutors. — Closing arguments are expected on Monday. After closing arguments, names will be drawn to decide which 12 jurors will deliberate and which ones will be dismissed as alternates. Eighteen people have been hearing the case. The panel appeared overwhelmingly white. –Judge Schroeder agrees to Monday for closing arguments and requires time limits of two and a half hours for each side. “The brain cannot absorb what the seat cannot endure,” he said. More Coverage of the Kyle Rittenhouse Trial Kenosha Nov 1 A Look Back at How the Kyle Rittenhouse Shooting Unfolded in Kenosha Kyle Rittenhouse Nov 13 Recap: Biggest Moments From Kyle Rittenhouse Murder Trial So Far

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