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. He is also charged with misdemeanor possession of a dangerous weapon under the age of 18 and a non-criminal violation of failure to comply with an emergency order. He has pleaded not guilty.
After a day of unrest in Kenosha, Rittenhouse traveled to the city from his home in Antioch, Illinois. On the night of August 25, armed with an AR-15-style rifle, he clashed with people gathered near a car dealership and fatally shot Rosenbaum, according to a criminal complaint. Others at the scene pursued Rittenhouse, 17 at the time, who then fatally shot Huber and wounded Grosskreutz, the complaint states.
Prosecutors say Rittenhouse’s actions constituted criminal homicide, but his attorneys say he shot the men in self-defense. Wisconsin law requires when a self-defense claim is raised, prosecutors must disprove self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt — a difficult obstacle for the state.
“It’s a pretty substantial burden for the prosecution to do that and I think that’s going to be where the real challenge for them lies,” said John Gross, a clinical associate professor and the director of the Public Defender Project at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School.
Those chosen to sit on the jury will be tasked with assessing the reasonableness of Rittenhouse’s actions that night.
“We want the jury to be a check on the power of the state and to enforce community norms,” said Cecelia Klingele, an associate professor of law at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “So when the law requires that force is used reasonably, we want our community to decide what is or isn’t reasonable.”
How the night of August 25 unfolded
Some people — including a number who did not live in Kenosha — took the matter of…