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KENOSHA: Kyle RittenhouseLawyers asked the judge Wednesday to declare a mistrial before the jury made a decision, saying the defense received an inferior copy of a key video from prosecutors.
Defense attorney Corey Chirafisi told Judge Bruce Schroeder that the defense would have approached things differently if they had received the higher quality video earlier.
He says the request would be made “without prejudice,” meaning that prosecutors could try Rittenhouse again if the judge granted the request.
Prosecutors responded that the jury saw the highest quality version of the video during the trial and it was played without objection.
Schroeder did not immediately comment on the request to have the trial annulled.
THIS IS A LAST MINUTE UPDATE. The previous AP story follows below.
KENOSHA, Wis. (AP) – The jury in Kyle Rittenhouse’s murder trial will be able to review part of the video of the Kenosha shootings, after his request on the second day of deliberations Wednesday sparked a debate between the judge and opposing attorneys about how accommodate the request.
The judge, meanwhile, expressed his irritation at media coverage and comments from legal experts on some of his decisions, saying he would “think hard” about allowing televised trials in the future.
Jurors were weighing the charges against Rittenhouse for a second day after they failed to reach a swift verdict Tuesday on whether he was the instigator of a night of bloodshed in Kenosha or a concerned citizen who was attacked while trying to protect the property.
About two hours after Wednesday’s deliberations, jurors asked to see video previously shown at the trial, and Judge Bruce Schroeder said he would determine the procedures to allow that.
After receiving the jury’s request, the judge and attorneys faced a series of questions and, in some cases, sources of disagreement. Among them: Should jurors watch the video in the courtroom or the jury room? Who else can be present if it is done in the courtroom? And how many times should they be allowed to rewind and watch a piece of footage?
Prosecutor Thomas Binger said they should be able to watch any video they wanted as many times as they wanted, and the judge seemed to agree.
“Sometimes there is a piece of evidence that is absolutely critical … For me, if they want to see it 100 times, it’s them,” Schroeder said.
But defense attorneys said they would object to the jury seeing a drone video that prosecutors said showed Rittenhouse pointing his gun at protesters before the shooting. The image sparked a heated dispute early in the trial over technical questions about whether enlarging the images markedly changes them.
Both parties agreed to upload the videos that the jurors wanted to see onto a computer for viewing in the jury room. The judge, who said he was “dizzy” from allowing the drone video, said jurors had not asked to see that video again, just to have it ready for viewing.
Earlier Wednesday, Schroeder objected to the news about his decisions not to allow the men Rittenhouse shot to be called victims and to allow Rittenhouse to play a minor role in determining which jurors were substitutes, and the fact that that it had not yet ruled on a defense motion for a mistrial.
Schroeder said he has not read the motion because he received it on Tuesday.
“It’s a shame that irresponsible statements are being made,” Schroeder said of comments in a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story from law school professors that he did not rule on the motion to vacate the trial.
The case went to the anonymous jury after Schroeder allowed Rittenhouse to dip his hand into a raffle drum and draw numbered ballots determining which of the 18 jurors who attended the case would deliberate and which would be fired as alternates.
That task is usually performed by a court clerk, not the defendant. Schroeder has said that he has been making the defendants do so for at least 20 years.
“I admit there are not a lot of courts that do that, maybe none,” Schroeder said Wednesday.
The jury of 12 deliberated for a full day Tuesday without reaching a decision.
Rittenhouse, 18, faces life in prison if convicted of the most serious charge of using an AR-style semi-automatic rifle to kill two men and injure a third during a night of protests against racial injustice in Kenosha in the summer of 2020. The former youth police cadet is white, as are those he shot.
Rittenhouse testified that he acted in self-defense, while prosecutors argued that he provoked the violence. The case has become a flashpoint in the American debate on guns, protests for racial justice, vigilantism, and law and order.
The jury appeared to be overwhelmingly white. Potential jurors were not asked to identify their race during the selection process, and the court did not provide a racial breakdown.
Although protests have generally been silenced throughout the courthouse during the trial, a man arrived on Wednesday carrying a long rifle and wearing what appeared to be a bulletproof vest. After being approached by the police, he left and returned a short time later without the weapon. The man had spent Tuesday screaming anti-black Vive imports statements through a megaphone and was involved in a confrontation that day with another protester.
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, who faced criticism for his response to the Kenosha protests in 2020, urged calm as the jury deliberated. He announced last week that 500 members of the National Guard would be ready for duty in Kenosha if necessary.
Rittenhouse was 17 when he went to Kenosha from his home in Antioch, Illinois, in what he said was an effort to protect property from rioters in the days after a black man, Jacob Blake, was shot by a police officer. Kenosha white.
In a quick series of street confrontations, Rittenhouse shot and killed Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, and the injured Gaige Grosskreutz, now 28.
During closing arguments Monday, prosecutor Thomas Binger said Rittenhouse was an “aspiring soldier” who set the deadly chain of events in motion by bringing a rifle to a protest and pointing it at protesters just before being chased.
But Rittenhouse’s lawyer Mark Richards replied that Rittenhouse was ambushed by a “crazy person” – Rosenbaum.
Rittenhouse testified that Rosenbaum chased after him and grabbed his rifle, causing him to fear that the weapon would be used against him. His account of Rosenbaum’s behavior was largely corroborated by video and some of the prosecution’s own witnesses.
As for Huber, he was shot after he was seen on video hitting Rittenhouse with a skateboard. And Grosskreutz admitted that he had his own pistol pointed at Rittenhouse when he was shot.
In his instructions to the jury, Schroeder said that in order to accept Rittenhouse’s self-defense claim, jurors must find that he believed there was an unlawful threat to him and that the amount of force he used was reasonable and necessary.

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