Defense rests its case at murder trial of Kyle Rittenhouse

National News

Kyle Rittenhouse, center, enters the courtroom after a break at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wis., on Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021. Rittenhouse is accused of killing two people and wounding a third during a protest over police brutality in Kenosha, last year. (Sean Krajacic/The Kenosha News via AP, Pool)

KENOSHA, Wis. (AP) — The defense has rested its case at the murder trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, setting the stage for closing arguments in the shootings that left Americans divided over whether he was a patriot taking a stand against lawlessness or a vigilante.

The judge indicated closing arguments could be held Monday.

Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger listens to Judge Bruce Schroeder as admissibility of evidence is litigated during Kyle Rittenhouse’s trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wis., on Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021. Rittenhouse is accused of killing two people and wounding a third during a protest over police brutality in Kenosha, last year. (Mark Hertzberg /Pool Photo via AP)

Rittenhouse’s lawyers completed their side of the case on Day 9 of the trial Thursday, a day after the 18-year-old Rittenhouse told the jury he was defending himself from attack and had no choice when he used his rifle to kill two men and wound a third on the streets of Kenosha.

Judge Bruce Schroeder addresses an objection made by Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger regarding the scope of testimony from the defense’s expert use-of-force witness John Black during Kyle Rittenhouse’s trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wis., on Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021. Rittenhouse is accused of killing two people and wounding a third during a protest over police brutality in Kenosha, last year. (Sean Krajacic/The Kenosha News via AP, Pool)

Prosecutors have sought to portray Rittenhouse as the instigator of the bloodshed, which took place during a tumultuous night of protests against racial injustice in August 2020.

Rittenhouse could get life in prison if convicted.

Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger walks into the courtroom for the start of the day during Kyle Rittenhouse’s trail at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wis., on Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021. Rittenhouse is accused of killing two people and wounding a third during a protest over police brutality in Kenosha, last year. (Sean Krajacic/The Kenosha News via AP, Pool)

The defense put witnesses on the stand across 2 1/2 days. Prosecutors presented testimony over a span of about five.

The protests in Kenosha were set off by the wounding of Jacob Blake, a Black man, by a white police officer. Rittenhouse, then 17, went to Kenosha from his home in Antioch, Illinois, in what the former police and fire youth cadet said was an effort to protect property after rioters set fires and ransacked businesses on previous nights.

Rittenhouse is white, as were those he shot.

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