Prosecutors in the Kenosha, Wisconsin, trial for teen Kyle Rittenhouse are asking the judge to add some lesser charges for the jury in the case to consider, admitting that a “reasonable” juror could acquit him on the most serious charges now pending, murder.
The Daily Mail said Assistant District Attorney James Krause on Friday pressed the judge for “a multitude of lesser” counts.
The defense rested on Thursday, and the closing arguments are scheduled Monday.
Rittenhouse is accused of murder for the deaths of Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber and attempted murder for the injury to Gaige Grosskreutz. The violence happened last year during a riot in Kenosha that erupted when police shot and wounded a suspect they confronted.
Rittenhouse testified the shootings were in self-defense, and even a prosecution witness admitted that he was shot, and wounded, when he pointed a weapon at Rittenhouse.
Rittenhouse, however, has been targeted by activists on social media and in the legacy media, where he’s been accused of racism. Even Joe Biden tried to injure him, publicly releasing a video that linked Rittenhouse to white supremacy.
Kraus said on Friday that a “reasonable jury or juror” could, in fact, acquit Rittenhouse.
That comment came as Krause insisted the judge add “a multitude of lesser charges” to the case.
The court events on Friday were to establish instructions to jurors.
The prosecution argued that the jurors also should be told that Rittenhouse provoked one of the assailants he faced that night. The defense said the state failed to prove the state law under which Rittenhouse is accused of underage possession of a weapon. That charge could even be dropped entirely.
The judge expressed doubt about adding a variety of counts at this point, but did appear to be willing to allow second-degree murder counts to be considered.
Rittenhouse, 18, is charged on six counts: First Degree Reckless Homicide, Use of a Dangerous Weapon in the death of Joseph Rosenbaum, First Degree Intentional Homicide, First Degree Attempted Intentional Homicide, Use of a Dangerous Weapon in the shootings of both Anthony Huber and Gaige Grosskreutz, First Degree Recklessly Endangering Safety in the case of Richie McGinniss who was all but in the line of fire when Rosenbaum was shot and ‘jump-kick man’ – the unidentified male at whom Rittenhouse shot twice – and one count of Possession of a Dangerous Weapon by a Person Under 18.
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