Judge in Kyle Rittenhouse murder trial allows jurors to take home ‘very confusing’ instructions


The judge in the Kyle Rittenhouse murder trial has allowed jurors to take home their ‘very confusing’ set of instructions after they failed to reach a verdict for a third day.  

Judge Bruce Schroeder sent the jurors away again on Thursday night, allowing them to take their jury instructions home after a juror requested they be allowed to.  

The 36-page document was set out by the judge and determines how the law should be applied in the case, leaving the jury to decide on the facts.

Defense Attorney Mark Richards urged Schroeder not to grant the request over concerns that the jurors would try to carry out their own legal work. 

‘I’m afraid it’s going to be the old dictionary game and they start defining words and things like that, outside research. That’s my concern,’ Richards told the court.  

But Schroeder decided to grant the request, noting to the prosecution and defence that the instructions were ‘very confusing.’ 

It came after a tense day outside the courthouse with furious clashes between those who want to see Rittenhouse jailed and those who believe he should walk free.

Rittenhouse, 18, shot and killed two men and wounded a third during BLM riots in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in August 2020.

He faces five charges: first-degree reckless homicide, first-degree intentional homicide, attempted first-degree intentional homicide, and two counts of first-degree recklessly endangering safety.  

Schroeder’s instructions say that ‘the state must prove by evidence which satisfies you beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant did not act lawfully in self-defense.’ 

Kyle Rittenhouse, center, pulls out his chair for a meeting Judge Bruce Schroeder called during his trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse on November 18, 2021 in Kenosha, Wisconsin

Kyle Rittenhouse, center, pulls out his chair for a meeting Judge Bruce Schroeder called during his trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse on November 18, 2021 in Kenosha, Wisconsin

Judge Bruce Schroeder alerts the attorneys that a man claiming to be with a major news network was arrested the previous night during Kyle Rittenhouse's trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse on November 18, 2021 in Kenosha, Wisconsin

Judge Bruce Schroeder alerts the attorneys that a man claiming to be with a major news network was arrested the previous night during Kyle Rittenhouse’s trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse on November 18, 2021 in Kenosha, Wisconsin

Protestors both supporting him and calling for him to be found guilty have gathered daily on the courthouse steps

Protestors both supporting him and calling for him to be found guilty have gathered daily on the courthouse steps

It continues: ‘The law of self-defense allows the defendant to threaten or intentionally use force against another only if: the defendant believed that there was an actual or imminent unlawful interference with the defendant’s person; and the defendant believed that the amount of force that the defendant used or threatened to use was necessary to prevent or terminate the interference; and the defendant’s beliefs were reasonable.’

A key point it notes is that Wisconsin has imperfect self-defense, which means that ‘a belief may be reasonable even though mistaken.’  

Neama Rahmani, a former federal prosecutor, told Fox News: ‘You don’t typically have that. Like in California, it’s not reasonable, it’s not self-defense. But you have this unreasonable subjective self-defense. That’s what makes the law a little more complicated.’

However, she added that given the number of victims and charges, the 36 pages were ‘par for the course.’ 

There were no notes from the jury on Thursday to indicate what evidence might be in their focus.

Rittenhouse, who was 17 at the time of the shootings, has pleaded not guilty and testified last week that he fired his weapon in self defense because an angry mob was threatening to kill him.

Prosecutors argued that Rittenhouse did not need to fire his weapon during the violence.

‘He did not exhaust his duty to retreat, he did not exhaust all of his options,’ Assistant District Attorney James Kraus said. 

Rittenhouse told the court he went to Kenosha to provide first aid and protect property from looters, describing how one of the men he shot, Joseph Rosenbaum, threatened to kill him earlier and tried to grab his gun.

‘If I would have let Mr. Rosenbaum take my firearm from me, he would have used it and killed me with it and probably killed more people if I would have let him get my gun,’ Rittenhouse testified.  

The jury has now been out since Tuesday morning, wrestling with the guilt or innocence of Rittenhouse, who shot two men dead and injured a third during a riot in Kenosha, Wisconsin in August 2020. 

Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth serves coffee and cookies outside the Kenosha County Courthouse, during the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, in Kenosha, Wisconsin, U.S., November 18, 2021

Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth serves coffee and cookies outside the Kenosha County Courthouse, during the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, in Kenosha, Wisconsin, U.S., November 18, 2021

A spokesman for the sheriff's department told DailyMail.com the coffee and cookies were a 'goodwill gesture in the hopes of reducing tensions'. 'It seemed to work,' they said

A spokesman for the sheriff’s department told DailyMail.com the coffee and cookies were a ‘goodwill gesture in the hopes of reducing tensions’. ‘It seemed to work,’ they said

A protester who previously called himself Maserati Mike, but has now identified himself as Jesse Kline, carries a Colt rifle bag as he walks with a dog outside the Kenosha County Courthouse, during the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, in Kenosha, Wisconsin, U.S., November 18, 2021

A protester who previously called himself Maserati Mike, but has now identified himself as Jesse Kline, carries a Colt rifle bag as he walks with a dog outside the Kenosha County Courthouse, during the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, in Kenosha, Wisconsin, U.S., November 18, 2021

Protestors both supporting him and calling for him to be found guilty have gathered daily on the courthouse steps. Largely they have been peaceful although two people were arrested on Wednesday after a scuffle.

A man was also held on Thursday.

The main excitement of the day outside the court came when a man who has previously only been identified as ‘Maserati Mike’ turned up and admitted he is a fired police officer from Ferguson, Missouri, the site of race riots in 2014.

Jesse Kline was not on the force during the riots and was fired in 2018 after being charged with stalking a woman and threatening her male companion by poking a handgun into his chest.

Kline had turned up in a black Maserati on Tuesday with an assault weapon which police told him to put away as carrying a weapon in the area outside the courthouse is illegal as it is within 1,000 ft. of a school.

On Thursday he was carrying a large bag which looked as if it could carry the same weapon. When protestors urged him to show what was in the bag, he pulled out a large sex toy and waved it around. 

The Kenosha County Sheriff resorted to dishing out ‘cookies for peace’ and cups of coffee at the courthouse on Thursday in a desperate effort to keep the crowds calm as the nervous wait for a verdict in the Rittenhouse trial rumbled on.

Sheriff David Beth – who failed to contain the riots last year after his 116 deputies were overrun by more than 1,000 protesters – was at the courthouse on Thursday as the jury deliberated the teenager’s fate for a third day. 

He was pictured approaching BLM protesters and Rittenhouse supporters, offering them cookies and a warm drink, in an effort to keep the peace.

‘The Sheriff wanted to extend a goodwill gesture to the community in hopes that it would reduce tensions among the folks outside the courthouse and bring people together. 

‘It seemed to work from what we were seeing,’ a spokesman for the force told DailyMail.com on Thursday.

His efforts weren’t entirely successful. One man was arrested after showing up with a gun, a felony because it is within 1,000ft of a school. Yesterday, a man and a woman were arrested at the court and charged with disorderly conduct. 

There is yet to be any violence beyond that, but tensions are high and rising. 

Five elementary schools announced on Wednesday night that they are going remote for the rest of the week to keep kids off the streets in case of any unrest.  

Bishop Tavis Grant (left), Jacob Blake's uncle Justin Blake (right) and Daunte Wright's brother Damik Wright (center). Damik told DailyMail.com: 'Wherever there is police brutality we are coming and will stand in solidarity with them'

Bishop Tavis Grant (left), Jacob Blake’s uncle Justin Blake (right) and Daunte Wright’s brother Damik Wright (center). Damik told DailyMail.com: ‘Wherever there is police brutality we are coming and will stand in solidarity with them’

The man is the only person who was arrested on Thursday. Two protesters were arrested on Wednesday for disorderly conduct

The man is the only person who was arrested on Thursday. Two protesters were arrested on Wednesday for disorderly conduct 

An armed man dressed in all black and wearing a mask being arrested for having a firearm by the Kenosha County Police in front of the Kenosha County Courthouse. He has not been identified

An armed man dressed in all black and wearing a mask being arrested for having a firearm by the Kenosha County Police in front of the Kenosha County Courthouse. He has not been identified

Frank Elementary School, one of them, said in a Facebook post on Wednesday: ‘We will switch to virtual tomorrow and Friday as a precaution.

Our attendance area includes the homes surrounding the Kenosha Courthouse. Students log on at 8:15am with their teachers and crews.’

There are 500 National Guard troops now on standby 60 miles away from Kenosha in case any tensions arise. 

Last August, Sheriff Beth found his force under siege when hundreds of protesters rushed to their small town after the Jacob Blake shooting. Kenosha Police Department, which had fewer than 200 officers at the time, was equally under outnumbered and the town begged for help from the Governor, but got only a few hundred National Guard troops at first.   

Among those at the courthouse on Thursday was Daunte Wright’s brother Damik Wright who told DailyMail.com: ‘Everybody is boots on the ground regardless of whether its Mexico or Canada we are coming. It’s not just with one family. 

‘Wherever there is police brutality we are coming and will stand in solidarity with them,’ he said. 



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