The Kyle Rittenhouse trial and its verdict

Defense attorney Mark Richards delivered his final argument in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Monday. (Sean Krajacic / Pool / Getty Images)

Kyle Rittenhouse sparked the fatal shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin last year by pointing his AR-15 type gun at Joseph Rosenbaum, prosecutors said Monday during oral argument in his homicide trial.

“That’s what is causing this whole incident,” said prosecutor Thomas Binger. “When the accused provokes this incident, he loses the right to self-defense. You cannot claim self-defense against a danger that you are creating.”

In response, defense attorney Mark Richards said Rittenhouse did not act recklessly when he shot Rosenbaum, who Richards said threatened him, chased him, threw a bag at him plastic and rushed to his gun.

“When my client shot Joseph Rosenbaum, he feared for his life. He feared because of his previous threats, his previous statements and the acts of violence my client had witnessed,” Richards said.

Final arguments for the duel, which lasted most of the day on Monday, came at the end of a two-week trial highlighted by moving and enlightening testimony from Rittenhouse himself, who said that he had acted in self-defense when he shot Rosenbaum.

A crowd of people then chased the teenager and Rittenhouse said he shot in self-defense a man who tried to kick him; shot Anthony Huber, who hit him with a skateboard; and shot Gaige Grosskreutz, who was armed with a pistol. Rosenbaum and Huber were killed and Grosskreutz was injured.

The panel of 18 jurors will be reduced to 12 this morning and will then begin deliberating on the case.

Earlier Monday, Judge Bruce Schroeder dismissed a misdemeanor weapons charge against Rittenhouse, now 18. He still faces five felony counts and, if found guilty of the most serious charge, could face a mandatory life sentence.

Schroeder also read a set of legal instructions to jury members and informed them that they would be allowed to consider included minor infractions for two of the five counts.

The trial featured more than a dozen videos from the night of August 25, 2020, showing what happened before, during and after the shooting. Most of the facts of what happened that night were not up for debate – the heart of the trial was rather the analysis of Rittenhouse’s actions and their ability to be considered “reasonable.”

The prosecution completed its evidence last Tuesday and the defense on Friday.

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