KENOSHA, Wis. — Jurors found Kyle Rittenhouse, who shot and killed two protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last year, not guilty on all counts Friday.
Rittenhouse was charged with first-degree intentional homicide as well as several other charges related to the shootings of the three protesters.
Had he been convicted, Rittenhouse could've faced life in prison for the most serious charge.
Jurors began deliberating Rittenhouse’s fate Tuesday morning after prosecutors and the defense wrapped up closing arguments Monday night.
The prosecution tried to convince the jury that Rittenhouse could not claim self-defense when he shot three protesters, two of whom died, in Kenosha, Wisconsin during violent demonstrations against racism and police brutality.
"When the defendant provokes the incident, he loses the right to self-defense. You cannot claim self-defense against a danger you create," said Thomas Binger, assistant district attorney for Kenosha County, Wisconsin. "That's critical right here. If you're the one who's threatening others, you lose the right to claim self-defense."
The defense argued the opposite, saying Rittenhouse felt his life was in jeopardy.
"Every person who was shot was attacking Kyle," said defense attorney Mark Richards. "One with a skateboard, one with his hands, one with his feet, one with a gun."
Judge Bruce Schroeder dismissed one of the charges against Rittenhouse on Monday. Schroeder dropped the charge of possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under the age of 18.
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has already called on the Wisconsin National Guard to assist local law enforcement in anticipation of potential unrest in the city following the jury's decision.
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