As a juror prepares for Kyle Rittenhouse’s murder trial, Kenosha residents are anticipating possible riots. Rittenhouse killed two people and wounded another during last summer’s unrest.

Prosecutors have almost admitted defeat by pleading to the judge for the jury to review lesser charges against Rittenhouse (18 years old), who claimed self-defense through emotional testimony. 

This has been a national political hot spot. Liberals have condemned Rittenhouse for being a dangerous extremist and racist. However, all of Rittenhouse’s victims were white. Conservatives celebrate Rittenhouse as an example of self-defense and gun rights, even though he illegally carried the gun as a minor. 

Buildings around Kenosha were put up on Sunday in preparation for a violent reaction if Rittenhouse was acquitted. Governor Tony Evers ordered 500 Nation Guard troops to be available to support local law enforcement. 

Some business that was looted and burned in the summer of 2013 had nothing to prepare for because their windows were still covered with boards more than a decade later.  

Closed arguments at the trial will conclude on Monday. The case will then be heard by a jury consisting of 12 men and 11 women. This will determine Rittenhouse’s fate. 

On Sunday, buildings around Kenosha were boarded up in anticipation of a violent response if Kyle Rittenhouse is acquitted, and Governor Tony Evers has ordered 500 Nation Guard troops on standby

In anticipation of violent responses if Kyle Rittenhouse is found guilty, Kenosha buildings were boarded-up on Sunday. Governor Tony Evers placed 500 Nation Guard troops in readiness

Businesses in downtown Kenosha are seen boarded up on Sunday. Many which were burned or looted last summer had little to do to prepare, because the boards over their windows remained up more than a year later

On Sunday, businesses in Kenosha were seen with their windows boarded up. Many which were burned or looted last summer had little to do to prepare, because the boards over their windows remained up more than a year later

A home in Kenosha is seen with a message of solidarity with Black Lives Matter on Sunday

On Sunday, a Kenosha home is shown with Black Lives Matter solidarity messages

Defendant Kyle Rittenhouse is seen on Friday at his trial in Kenosha Circuit Court. The case goes to the jury on Monday

Kyle Rittenhouse, the defendant in his case at Kenosha Circuit Court is seen Friday. On Monday, the case will be presented to the jury.

Rittenhouse (17 years old) was charged with first degree intentional homicide, as well as other counts, for murdering Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber. 

A teen living in Antioch, Illinois told the court that he was acting in self defense when he opened fire during an August 2020 night in Kenosha after the shooting death of Jacob Blake.

Americans have been divided by the case, with some questioning whether Rittenhouse was either a patriot who stood up against lawlessness or an vigilante who carried a gun as a demonstration to provoke a response.

If he is acquitted on the initial charges, jurors can consider less serious charges. This was the judge’s statement Friday in a contentious hearing. 

Wisconsin law permits both the defense and prosecution to request that jurors are informed they have the option of considering lesser charges in the instruction they get before they deliberate. The defense lawyer can also object to lower charges. This was the case in some cases on Friday. 

Rittenhouse was asked by Judge Bruce Schroeder to confirm his agreement with the decision of his lawyers. 

Rittenhouse heard from Schroeder, that including minor charges increases the chance of being convicted, but that it also avoids the possibility for the jury to compromise on the serious crimes. You’re also decreasing your chances of a second trial, as the jury cannot agree.

Rittenhouse stated that he understood.

Judge Bruce Schroeder asked Rittenhouse to confirm that he agreed with his attorneys' decision to allow the jury to consider lesser charges on some counts, after prosecutors admitted the weakness of their case

Rittenhouse was asked by Judge Bruce Schroeder to confirm that Rittenhouse had agreed to his lawyers’ decision to let the jury consider lower charges on certain counts after the prosecution admitted their weakness.

Rittenhouse is accused of shooting three demonstrators, killing two of them, during a night of unrest that erupted in Kenosha after a police officer shot Jacob Blake seven times in the back while being arrested in August 2020

Rittenhouse was accused of shooting three demonstrators and killing two during an unrest night in Kenosha, after Jacob Blake, a Kenosha police officer, shot him seven times in the back. Rittenhouse was also arrested in August 2020.

Boards are seen over a window that was damaged a year ago when unrest gripped Kenosha over the shooting of Jacob Blake

Over a damaged window from last year’s shooting of Jacob Blake, boards are visible.

A business that was burned and looted last summer remains boarded up more than a year after rioting broke out following the shooting Jacob Blake in the summer of 2020. The city is currently bracing for potential fresh riots

One year ago, a business was set on fire and looted by Jacob Blake. This happened more than one year after Jacob Blake’s shooting. Current fears are that there may be new riots in the city.

Children walk by a Kenosha storefront that remains boarded up more than a year after rioting broke out last summer

A Kenosha shopfront remains closed more than one year after the riots of last summer. Children pass it as they walk past.

Schroeder stated that he would make his final rulings on Saturday. However, he did not give any specific findings but indicated some possible ways he could rule on other cases. Jurors who are allowed to look at lesser charges will only be permitted to do so if Rittenhouse is acquitted of the original, more serious charge.

The arguments about jury instructions on Friday were contentious, with lawyers rehashing earlier discussions in the case. Prosecutors were trying to add an instruction that would permit jurors consider Rittenhouse’s provocation. At one point the sides debated over what the particular photo meant. Schroeder lost his temper, snapping: ‘You´re asking me to give an instruction. You want the best image!

Schroeder eventually said that he would accept the provocation instruction. This would require the jury to ask whether Rittenhouse provoked Rosenbaum. Self-defense would be negated if the jury concludes that he did.

Rittenhouse is now 18 and faces one count in first-degree reckless killing in Rosenbaum’s death. This was after Rosenbaum pursued Rittenhouse in a used vehicle lot. 

Defense opposed the addition of a second degree reckless homicide to the charges. Schroeder claimed he wouldn’t allow the lesser charges because it would result in a conviction on the lesser case being overturned by appeal.

Rittenhouse is also facing two first-degree reckless danger charges: One for shooting at an unidentified man, who attempted to punch him in his face; and the other because Rittenhouse fired on Rosenbaum while a reporter was nearby.

Grey clouds hang over the empty storefronts of Kenosha on Sunday, a year after riots gripped the city

After the violence that gripped Kenosha in 2011, grey clouds hang above the Kenosha storefronts on Sunday.

Downtown Kenosha was sparsely populated on Sunday as the city braces for a verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial

As the Kyle Rittenhouse trial was about to begin, Downtown Kenosha saw little traffic on Sunday.

Kenosha, a city of 100,000, sits on the Lake Michigan shore just across the border from Illinois

Kenosha (a city of 100,000) is located on Lake Michigan’s shore, right across from Illinois.

Schroeder indicated that he is inclined to accept a second-degree recklessly endangerment charge for the endangering of the reporter. But he may not. Schroeder said he could not accept the lesser charge for Rittenhouse’s case.

Rittenhouse also faces one count of first-degree intentional homicide in Huber´s death. This is the most severe charge and comes with a life sentence. Huber hit Rittenhouse with his skateboard shortly after Rosenbaum was killed by Rittenhouse.

Huber was not the subject of defense objections to the addition of lesser amounts for second-degree intentional and reckless homicide. However, it did not object to the addition of a second-degree reckless murder charge. Schroeder stated that he accepted the argument.

Rittenhouse faces one count each of first-degree attempted intentional homicide and shooting Grosskreutz in their arm. Grosskreutz was holding a firearm in his hands when he confronted Rittenhouse after Rittenhouse had shot Huber.

Prosecutors requested that second-degree attempted intentional homicide be added to the first-degree reckless and second-degree reckless endsangerment counts. Rittenhouse lawyer Corey Chirafisi supported the second-degree attempted homicide charge, however he rejected the reckless endangerment count. He said he didn’t believe anyone can ‘attempt be reckless’.

Schroeder indicated that he would think it through, but was willing to compromise with the prosecution.

Kyle Rittenhouse, at left in backwards cap, walks along Sheridan Road in this August 25, 2020 file photo. Before midnight, he used his Smith & Wesson AR-style semi-automatic to shoot three people, killing two

Kyle Rittenhouse walks down Sheridan Road, wearing a backwards-cap, in this August 25, 2019, file photo. Before midnight, he used his Smith & Wesson AR-style semi-automatic to shoot three people, killing two

Kyle Rittenhouse and defense attorney Mark Richards stand as Judge Bruce Schroeder makes a personal call during Rittenhouse's trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse on Friday

Kyle Rittenhouse (defense attorney Mark Richards) stands as Judge Bruce Schroeder calls a private call at Rittenhouse’s trial. Rittenhouse is being tried in Kenosha county Courthouse.

Kyle Rittenhouse, center, stands with his attorneys, from left, Mark Richards, Corey Chirafisi and Natalie Wisco before viewing video during proceedings at the Kenosha County Courthouse on Friday

Kyle Rittenhouse is pictured with his attorneys Mark Richards, Corey Chirafisi & Natalie Wisco, as they view video of Friday’s proceedings at Kenosha county Courthouse.

Storefronts in downtown Kenosha remain boarded up from last summer, as seen on Sunday

As seen Sunday, downtown Kenosha storefronts are still boarded-up from last summer.

Rittenhouse also faces charges of possessing a deadly weapon when she was under 18 years old. Schroeder was also charged with possessing a dangerous weapon while under the age of 18. It wasn’t clear what Schroeder wanted to tell jurors about that charge Friday.

Both sides won some points according to legal observers. Julius Kim, an ex-prosecutor and Milwaukee criminal defense attorney, stated that Rittenhouse is not as confident about his defense and should accept the least serious charge to reduce the likelihood of being convicted.

Kim indicated that they believed it was a wise decision for Rittenhouse to let the jury convict him possibly of a lesser crime if they find him guilty of any. Kim added that the fact that there wasn’t a defense objection to that count could indicate they may not feel confident in an adjudication.

However, the fact that the prosecutors seek a lesser offense shows that they don’t believe Rittenhouse will be convicted on the original charges.

Kim stated that he believed they were trying to save something right at the moment.

Michael O’Hear is a Marquette University criminal law professor in Milwaukee. He said that defense usually seeks lesser charges.

O’Hear stated that a lesser instruction would normally not be requested by the prosecutor unless the prosecution has a high level of confidence in the probability of conviction for the greater offense. He also noted that the addition of it “practically invites” the jury to compromise on a lesser offense.

After nearly two weeks of testimony, the trial ended on Thursday. Rittenhouse testified to the jury that he was trying to defend himself against an attack, when he fired his gun at the men.

Closed arguments will take place Monday. After that, names will be drawn for the 12 remaining jurors to deliberate on and decide who will be removed as alternates. This case was heard by eighteen persons. It appears that the panel is overwhelmingly composed of white people, just like Rittenhouse or those who shot Rittenhouse.

Blake, a black male, was injured by a police officer. This set off the protests. Rittenhouse, a former fire officer and police cadet, went to the demonstration with a rifle as well as a medical kit. He said it was to protect property from rioters who had set fires to and ransacked business on previous nights.

This case has sparked fierce discussion about vigilantism and self-defense as well as the Second Amendment right of bear arms. It also reflects the turmoil that broke out in the United States over George Floyd’s police shooting death.

How serious are the charges against Kyle Rittenhouse? 

Kyle Rittenhouse killed two men and injured the third during protests against police brutality last year in Kenosha. Rittenhouse claims that he shot in self defense after being attacked by the men. 

Below are the allegations that were brought into court by the prosecution. The judge can also bring lesser charges to the jury’s attention in the final instructions.


This is a felony related to Rittenhouse shooting the first man, Joseph Rosenbaum. Video bystander shows Rosenbaum following Rittenhouse in a parking lot, throwing a bag at him and chasing him. Rittenhouse is seen running behind a vehicle and Rosenbaum following. The video that was shown at the trial shows Rittenhouse spinning around firing his gun as Rosenbaum pursued him. Richie McGinniss testified Rittenhouse was following him.

The difference between reckless and intentional homicide is that the prosecution aren’t claiming Rittenhouse was plotting to murder Rosenbaum. They are claiming that Rittenhouse is responsible for Rosenbaum’s murder in conditions showing a complete disregard for human life.

Paul Bucher, former Waukesha County District attorney said that prosecutors choosing to accuse reckless homicide instead of intentional murder shows their inability to understand what actually happened between Rittenhouse & Rosenbaum or what was going on inside Rittenhouse’s head when he pulled trigger.

This charge can lead to up to 60 years imprisonment. An additional five years is required to be served for dangerous weapon modification.

The prosecution asked Judge Bruce Schroeder for a second-degree reckless murder charge to be considered by the jury. This does not need to include a finding Rittenhouse had acted with an utter disregard of human life. You could be sentenced to as much as 25 years prison. After Rittenhouse’s lawyers objected to his plan, Schroeder stated that he didn’t intend to issue such an instruction. Schroeder stated that he anticipated that the guilty verdict for that charge would be overturned as defense opposed to including it.


The Rosenbaum shooting is the subject of this felony. McGinniss claimed that he was near the scene of Rittenhouse’s shooting of Rosenbaum. It is possible to be sentenced to 12 1/2 year imprisonment. Additional five-years are required for the weapons modification.

Schroeder was requested by prosecution to permit the jury to look at a second-degree charge. It doesn’t have to be found that Rittenhouse had acted with an utter disregard for the life of others. Schroeder indicated that he felt inclined to grant the instructions, although he never made a final decision. This charge can lead to up to 10 years imprisonment.


Unidentified man appears to be leaping towards Rittenhouse in an attempt to kick him. Anthony Huber, on his skateboard, moves toward Rittenhouse. Rittenhouse fires two rounds at Rittenhouse, but it appears that he misses the man as he runs off.

This is a felony that can lead to 12 1/2 years prison. Another weapon modifier would increase the sentence to 5 years.

Schroeder indicated that he wouldn’t agree with prosecutors’ demand for jurors being allowed to look at this case in the second degree.


Huber’s murder is the reason for this charge. Rittenhouse can be seen sprinting down the street following the shooting of Rosenbaum. Huber leaps at him. He swings his skateboard at Rosenbaum’s neck and head. Rittenhouse attempts to take Rittenhouses gun. According to the criminal complaint, Rittenhouse is accused of aiming the weapon at Huber.

Intentional murder is when someone deliberately kills another person. Bucher stated that Rittenhouse could have pointed the gun at Huber, and then pulled the trigger. This would be intentional homicide. But self-defense will override the charges.

Bucher stated, “Why I wanted to kill that individual makes the distinction.”

A mandatory sentence of life is imposed on the count. A weapons modifier could add up to five more years.

Schroeder was asked by the prosecution to offer the jury three options: second-degree intentional murder, second-degree reckless killing and second-degree recklessly homicide in Huber’s death. Schroeder stated that he accepted the second-degree reckless murder charge.

A fallback offense is second-degree intentional killing. It’s when a defendant believes that he is in imminent danger or great bodily injury and that force must be used. But either belief wasn’t unreasonable. You could be sentenced to as much as 60 years prison.

Huber’s first-degree reckless murder charge is identical to the original Rosenbaum death charge. Jurors would have to determine that Rittenhouse was responsible for Huber’s death and show utter disregard for human lives. This could lead to up to 60 years imprisonment.


Rittenhouse was charged with shooting Gaige Grosskreutz at Gaige Grosskreutz’s arm just seconds after he had shot Huber. Grosskreutz then approached Rittenhouse holding a firearm. Grosskreutz survived. Video of Rittenhouse firing one round at Grosskreutz.

Maximum sentence for the charge is 60 years. Additional five years would be added for the weapons modifier.

The prosecution asked for the jury to be permitted to look at lesser charges in Grosskreutz’s shooting. These were second-degree attempted intentionally homicide and first-degree reckless endingangerment. While defense lawyers didn’t object to the first count, they opposed adding the reckless-endangerment ones. Schroeder said that although he didn’t rule, he felt inclined to support the prosecution.

A second-degree attempt at intentional homicide can result in a sentence of up to 30 years.


Rittenhouse was armoured with an AR style semi-automatic gun. Rittenhouse was just 17 when the shooting took place. Wisconsin law forbids minors to possess firearms, except when hunting. Schroeder did not make it clear Friday as to what he intended to inform jurors regarding this charge.

It is a misdemeanor and can result in up to nine months imprisonment.


Rittenhouse, who was accused of being on the streets following an 8 p.m. city curfew, was fined up to $200. After the defense had argued that there wasn’t enough evidence, Judge Bruce Schroeder dropped the charges during the second week.