The Key Players in the Kyle Rittenhouse Trial
A rundown of the key figures in the courtroom for the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse in Kenosha, Wis.
Here’s who is who in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial.
Judge Bruce Schroeder speaks to the attorneys in Kyle Rittenhouse’s trial before the jury enters the courtroom at Kenosha County Courthouse.Credit…Pool photo by Sean Krajacic
Here is a rundown of the key figures in the courtroom for the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse in Kenosha, Wis. Mr. Rittenhouse faces six charges — five felony counts and one misdemeanor — in connection with the shooting deaths of two men and the wounding of a third during protests and unrest in Kenosha in August 2020. The most serious charge he faces, intentional homicide, carries a life sentence.
Kyle Rittenhouse was 17 in August 2020, and was living with his mother, Wendy Rittenhouse, in an apartment in Antioch, Ill., a half-hour drive from Kenosha, where his father lives.
His social media posts indicated support for Blue Lives Matter and an ambition to work in law enforcement. He joined a cadet program for teenagers who want to be police officers.
On the evening of the shootings, Mr. Rittenhouse was armed with a military-style semiautomatic rifle, and joined a group of armed men who said they were there to protect businesses.
Bruce Schroeder, 75, is the longest-serving circuit court judge in Wisconsin, and is known for running a strict courtroom.
He graduated from Marquette Law School in 1970 and worked as a prosecutor before becoming a circuit judge in 1983.
Because self-defense is an issue at the trial, Judge Schroeder has ordered that the term “victim” cannot be used to refer to the people who were shot. They can be called “rioters” or “looters” only if it is established in court that they were rioting or looting, he has said.
The lead prosecutor is Thomas Binger, a Kenosha County assistant district attorney.
Mr. Binger has been a prosecutor in the county for seven years. Before that, he was a lawyer in private practice, and earlier in his career was an assistant district attorney in Milwaukee County, according to an online resume. He ran unsuccessfully for district attorney in neighboring Racine County in 2016.
He has clashed with Judge Schroeder several times during pretrial hearings in the Rittenhouse case.
Mr. Rittenhouse’s lead lawyer is Mark Richards, 59, a veteran criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor. He primarily represents people accused of violent crimes or drug crimes.
He joined Mr. Rittenhouse’s defense team in September 2020, and took charge of the defense in January 2021, replacing John Pierce.
Another lawyer on the defense team is Corey Chirafisi, a former prosecutor based in Madison, Wis.
Twenty people — 11 women and nine men — were selected to hear the case, from a pool of about 150 prospective jurors.
Ultimately, 12 of the jurors will deliberate on a verdict.