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Rittenhouse jury deliberations begin, Wisconsin governor warns against unrest

Nov 16, 2021


The trial of Kyle Rittenhouse moved into jury deliberations Tuesday following closing arguments on Monday. The video above shows clips from court before Judge Bruce Schroeder sent jurors to deliberate. As the jury continued to debate whether or not Rittenhouse was guilty, concerns of unrest similar to the protests that led to the Rittenhouse trial continued to grow. Rittenhouse faces life in prison if he’s found to have committed a crime when he used an AR-style semi-automatic rifle to kill two men and wound a third during a night of protests against racial injustice in Kenosha in the summer of 2020.

Schroeder told reporters he was inclined to let the jury decide how late into Tuesday they wanted to deliberate. Schroeder suggested he would give news outlets around an hour to get to court after the jury sends word it has reached a verdict.

Before deliberations began, Rittenhouse got to play an unusual role in trimming down the jury from 18 to 12. Schroeder allowed Rittenhouse to draw numbered slips of paper from a raffle drum. Those slips of paper determined which 12 got to decide Rittenhouse’s fate, and which six would be dismissed as alternates.

“All of the jurors numbers have been exhibited to the defendant, I believe, and they’re paper clipped together now,” Schroeder said. “Please put them in the tumbler and the bailiff will rotate it and then the defendant will draw out six of the numbers.” Trimming down the jury is usually done by a courtroom clerk.

Ahead of the verdict, protesters supporting both the prosecution and defense gathered again outside the courthouse Tuesday. This included Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the St. Louis couple who made headlines after they pointed guns at protesters outside their home last summer. The video above shows Mark McCloskey commenting on the Rittenhouse case.

Gov. Tony Evers (D-WI) urged those who live or have traveled to Kenosha for the verdict to keep things peaceful.

“Kenoshans are strong, resilient, and have worked hard to heal and rebuild together over the past year. Any efforts to sow division and hinder that healing are unwelcome in Kenosha and Wisconsin,” Gov. Evers tweeted Tuesday. “I ask all those who choose to assemble and exercise their First Amendment rights in every community to do so safely and peacefully.” Last week, Evers announced 500 members of the National Guard would stand ready for duty in Kenosha if needed.

Bruce Schroeder, Kenosha County Circuit Court Judge: “Let’s take the, strike the jurors as necessary. The all of the jurors numbers have been exhibited to the defendant, I believe, and they’re paper clipped together now. And then please put them in the tumbler and the bailiff will rotate it and then the defendant will draw out six of the numbers.”

“All right, members of the jury, it is for you to determine whether the defendant is guilty or not guilty of each of the offenses charged. You must make a finding as to each count in the information. Each count charges a separate crime and you must consider each one separately. Your verdict for the crime charged on one count must not affect your verdict on any other. As I indicated I think yesterday that you must return only one verdict for each count of the information.”

Bruce Schroeder, Kenosha County Circuit Court Judge, speaking with baliff: “Bailiffs? Do you solemnly swear that you’ll keep all persons born, sworn on the jury together in some private and convenient place and that you will not speak to them nor permit anyone else to speak to them concerning the state of their deliberations or the verdicts upon which they’ve agreed. So help you god.

Bailiff: “I do.”

Schroeder: “OK. All right, folks. You can retire to consider your verdicts.”

Reporter: “Absolutely. And what do you expect to happen today?

Mark McCloskey: “I suspect we’ll get a verdict today.”

Reporter: “So what do you think that verdict is going to be?”

Mark McCloskey: “Well, you know, I don’t know if we haven’t been able to hear all the evidence we have from what we understand is what I’ve seen. I’m hoping for acquittal on all counts.”

Reporter: “And are you going to be out here all day? Or what are your plans?”

Mark McCloskey: “We’re gonna be out here and tell you the verdict, I suspect.”

Reporter: “Any thoughts over here?”

Mark McCloskey: “I have no relationship. I’m American citizen. I’m Mark McCloskey from St. Louis. And we’re just here to support people to exercise their Second Amendment rights to defend themselves, particularly when the the government abdicate steps, not duty. They also protect their citizens. And we’ve got programs to defund the police all over the place. But if you defund the police, and the government is not there to protect the citizen, citizens have to protect themselves.”