(CNN)The jury in Kyle Rittenhouse’s homicide trial entered its fourth day of deliberations Friday on five felony charges related to the fatal shooting of two people and the wounding of another during last year’s unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
The 12-person jury, made up of five men and seven women, has deliberated for more than 24 hours total on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and early Friday. They have already asked the court several questions, including Wednesday’s request to review much of the video evidence from the shootings.
One of those videos, a drone video showing Rittenhouse shooting Joseph Rosenbaum, is at the heart of a defense request for a mistrial in the case. Rittenhouse’s defense team claimed that the prosecution sent a compressed version of the video to the trial. The prosecution called it a technical glitch. After testimony was over, the defense team realized that there was a discrepancy and asked the judge for a mistrial.
The defense has also filed a motion for mistrial with prejudice — meaning the state would not be able to retry Rittenhouse — for intentional “prosecutorial overreach” related to the prosecution’s line of questioning during Rittenhouse’s testimony last week.
Judge Bruce Schroeder has not ruled on either motion.
On Thursday, Schroeder banned MSNBC from the courtroom for allegedly following a jury bus.
The judge said a man was driving about a block behind the jury bus on Wednesday evening and went through a red light. According to the judge, the man was pulled over and stated that he worked at NBC News.
An NBC News spokesperson told CNN the producer was a freelancer and never intended to contact or photograph jurors.
Schroeder, as he was dismissing the panel for the day later Thursday, agreed to a juror’s request to take the jury instructions home. Schroeder stated, “No notes to take home, but they can follow their instructions.”
The deliberations come after a two-week trial highlighted by emotional and compelling testimony from Rittenhouse, the 18-year-old at the center of debates around self-defense, gun ownership and Black Lives Matter demonstrations. He testified that he was acting in self-defense before the jury and the public.
“I didn’t do anything wrong. He testified that he had defended himself.
Rittenhouse is charged with five felonies: first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless homicide, attempted first-degree intentional homicide and two counts of first-degree recklessly endangering safety. Two of the five charges are lesser offenses that jurors can consider. Rittenhouse could be sentenced to a mandatory life imprisonment if convicted of the most serious offense.
Schroeder dismissed a misdemeanor weapons possession charge and a non-criminal curfew violation prior to deliberations.
The charges stem from the chaotic unrest last year in the wake of the Kenosha police shooting of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man. After instances of rioting and fiery destruction, Rittenhouse, 17 at the time, took a medical kit and an AR-15-style rifle and joined up with a group of other armed people in Kenosha on August 25, 2020.
There, Rittenhouse fatally shot Rosenbaum — who was chasing the teenager and threw a bag at him — and then tried to flee. A crowd of people pursued the teenager, and Rittenhouse shot at an unidentified man who kicked him; fatally shot Anthony Huber, who had hit him with a skateboard; and wounded Gaige Grosskreutz, who was armed with a pistol.
What happened in the trial
Prosecutors called 22 witnesses over the course of six days as they sought to show Rittenhouse acted recklessly that night and provoked Rosenbaum by pointing the rifle at him, setting off the ensuing series of events.
“That is what provokes this entire incident,” Binger said in closing arguments. “When the defendant provokes an incident, he loses his right to self defense. Self-defense cannot be claimed against the danger you create. “
The prosecution portrayed the three other people who confronted the teen as “heroes” trying to stop what they believed to be an active shooting. Binger also challenged the decision of the teenager to bring a gun into the city, calling him a “chaos visitor”. “
However, on the stand, Rittenhouse testified he acted in self-defense when he shot four times at Rosenbaum, who he said had threatened him earlier, chased him, thrown a bag at him and lunged for his gun. Rittenhouse also said that he was part of a “mob” that chased him.
He became emotional and broke down into tears during his testimony as he began to recount the initial shooting, leading to a break in the case.
In closing arguments, defense attorney Mark Richards said Rittenhouse feared for his life when he opened fire.
“Every person who was shot was attacking Kyle. Richards stated that there were three people who shot Kyle. One with a skateboard and one with his hands. The other one was with his feet. Richards added that one of them had a gun. “Hands or feet can cause serious bodily harm. “
The trial featured more than a dozen videos from the night that showed what happened before, during and after the shootings. The facts of that night are not open to debate. Instead, the trial focused on Rittenhouse’s actions as well as whether they could be considered reasonable. “
The prosecution faced an uphill challenge in the case because Wisconsin law requires the state to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Rittenhouse did not act in self-defense. However, self-defense claims are not unlimited.
“The defendant may intentionally use force which is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm only if the defendant reasonably believed that the force used was necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself,” the jury instructions explain.
CNN’s Mike Hayes, Carma Hassan and Cheri Mossburg contributed to this report.
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