2:56 PM PST, November 16, 2021
Kyle Rittenhouse’s fate is now in the hands of the jury. Deliberations are underway to decide whether he killed two men as an out-of-control vigilante or in self defense.
But before deliberations even began came another eyebrow-raising moment as Rittenhouse himself was allowed to use a bingo-like tumbler to whittle down the number of jurors from 18 to 12.
The six numbers he pulled out of the tumbler were for six jury members who are to stand by as alternates.
“This was the first time that I saw a judge have a defendant himself pull the names,” former Wisconsin prosecutor Julius Kim told Inside Edition.
The jury is composed of seven women and five men, one of whom is black.
Brandon Mitchell is one of the few people in America who knows what the jurors are going through right now. He served on the panel that convicted Derek Chauvin, the cop who killed George Floyd.
“It does weigh on you. It weighs on you a lot, which is why the deliberation is actually almost like a relief, ‘cause you’re like, it’s almost over with. We’ve just got to come to the right decision,” Mitchell told Inside Edition.
Meanwhile, the prosecutor who brandished Rittenhouse’s AR-15 in court is taking heat over his startling demonstration, which some see as violating basic gun safety rules. You can see he had his finger on the trigger in video of the court demonstration.
But in a statement, the prosecutor Thomas Binger, tells Inside Edition he didn’t put anyone at risk.
“Two detectives verified that there were no bullets in the weapon just before I handled it. When I aimed it, I aimed it at a blank wall. At no time did I point the weapon in the direction of any person. I was very careful about this,” Binger said.
After closing arguments yesterday, the judge gave the jury a stern instruction.
“You will pay no heed to the opinions of anyone — even the president of the United States or the president before him,” Judge Bruce Schroeder said.
He was referring to President Joe Biden suggesting Rittenhouse is a “white supremacist” during the 2020 election. On the other hand, then-president Donald Trump came to Rittenhouse’s defense, suggesting Rittenhouse was trying to get away from those he shot at.
Among Rittenhouse’s supporters are Patricia and Mark McCloskey, who famously wielded guns as they confronted protesters outside their St. Louis home during last year’s civil unrest.
“I personally am convinced that everything he did was justified as self defense,” Mark said outside the courthouse.
But many people protesting outside the courthouse feel differently.
The jury is not sequestered but has been asked to avoid speaking with anyone about the case or paying attention to news reports.