Kyle Rittenhouse Was Acquitted on These 5 Charges
Kyle Rittenhouse was cleared of criminal culpability in the shooting of three white men, two of them fatally, during protests on Aug. 25, 2020.
The jury acquitted Kyle Rittenhouse on all of these five counts.
Nov. 19, 2021, 4:01 p.m. ET
Credit…Pool photo by Sean Krajacic
A jury in Kenosha, Wis., acquitted Kyle Rittenhouse, a white teenager, on five felony counts on Friday, clearing him of criminal culpability in the shooting of three white men, two of them fatally, during street protests in the city on Aug. 25, 2020, over the shooting of a Black man by a white police officer.
The charges are numbered in the order they appeared in an amended criminal complaint, which does not list them in order of severity (the most severe is Count 4). Charges that are generally known as murder counts in other states are called homicides in Wisconsin.
In his instructions to the jury, Judge Schroeder said that the jurors could consider convicting Mr. Rittenhouse on lesser charges for some counts.
First-degree reckless homicide
Under Wisconsin law, this crime is defined as recklessly causing the death of another human being under circumstances that show utter disregard for human life. It is not necessary for prosecutors to prove intent to kill. Mr. Rittenhouse was accused of this crime in connection with the death of the first man he shot, Joseph D. Rosenbaum. It is a Class B felony carrying a basic sentence of up to 60 years in prison.
Counts 2 and 3
First-degree recklessly endangering safety
The law defines this crime as recklessly endangering another person’s safety under circumstances that show utter disregard for human life. Mr. Rittenhouse was charged with this crime for firing shots at two people he did not hit: Richard McGinnis and an unknown man. The crime is a class F felony that carries a basic sentence of up to 12 and a half years in prison, a fine of up to $25,000, or both, for each of the two counts.
First-degree intentional homicide
The crime, analogous to first-degree murder in other states, is defined as causing the death of another human being with intent to kill that person or someone else, without the presence of certain mitigating circumstances specified in the law. Mr. Rittenhouse faced this charge in connection with the death of Anthony M. Huber, the second man he shot. It is a Class A felony that carries a basic sentence of life in prison.
The judge told the jurors they should also consider whether Mr. Rittenhouse was guilty of second-degree intentional homicide or first-degree reckless homicide in connection with Mr. Huber’s death.
Attempted first-degree intentional homicide
Attempting to commit first-degree intentional homicide is a Class B felony under Wisconsin law. Mr. Rittenhouse faced this charge in connection with the shooting of Gaige P. Grosskreutz, who was struck and wounded. It carries a basic sentence of up to 60 years in prison.
The judge told the jurors they should also consider whether Mr. Rittenhouse was guilty of attempted second-degree intentional homicide or first-degree recklessly endangering safety in connection with the shooting of Mr. Grosskreutz.