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Jury deliberations begin Tuesday in the Kyle Rittenhouse homicide case

NOEL KING, HOST:

Jury deliberations start today in Kyle Rittenhouse's trial. He shot three people during protests back in 2020. He killed two of them and wounded a third. He says he acted in self-defense; prosecutors say he provoked the violence. Here's Corrinne Hess from Wisconsin Public Radio.

CORRINNE HESS, BYLINE: Lead prosecutor Thomas Binger spent more than two hours during closing arguments laying out how Kyle Rittenhouse arrived in Kenosha looking for trouble. He methodically showed video, trying to establish that the killing of the first victim, Joseph Rosenbaum, led to more shootings.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

THOMAS BINGER: And one of the things to keep in mind is that when the defendant provokes the incident, he loses the right to self-defense. You cannot claim self-defense against a danger you create.

HESS: After Rittenhouse shot Rosenbaum, he ran about two blocks and was chased by a large crowd. He then killed Anthony Huber and shot Gaige Grosskreutz. Defense attorney Mark Richards appeared angry when it was his turn to present closing arguments. He was dismissive of Binger.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

MARK RICHARDS: That's garbage, just like his case.

HESS: Richards told jurors prosecutors were lying about Rittenhouse being the pursuer of Rosenbaum because their case was exploding in their face. He portrayed Rittenhouse as a hero.

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RICHARDS: They want it to be that Kyle was out there doing something improper. Kyle was a 17-year-old kid out there trying to help this community.

HESS: The Kenosha community experienced two days of chaotic violence and looting during demonstrations. The protests followed the police shooting of Black resident Jacob Blake. Rittenhouse testified last week he came to help protect businesses, but prosecutor Binger told jurors he doubted the 18-year-old's sincerity. Binger brought up lies Rittenhouse told to media and law enforcement since the shootings.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

BINGER: He pretended to guard what turned out to be an empty building owned by people he'd never even met, while fraudulently claiming all night long to be an EMT.

HESS: Rittenhouse faces a number of felonies. The most serious charge is first-degree reckless homicide.

For NPR News, I'm Corrinne Hess in Kenosha, Wis. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Corrinne Hess

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