Fact Sheet: Kyle Rittenhouse

In 2020, Kyle Rittenhouse shot two men and wounded a third at a protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The case has gone to trial, and the judge acquitted Rittenhouse of all charges. However, there’s a lot of conflicting details about this case which is why we’ve drafted a fact sheet for the case.

The Kenosha Shooting

Bystander video from the Kenosha protest shows Rittenhouse being chased by a man, which prompted him to turn and shoot with his AR-15 rifle. The man was killed. This was the first of several violent encounters Rittenhouse had with protestors.

After the first shooting, Rittenhouse was chased by two other men who Rittenhouse also shot. One bystander was injured in the crossfire, but no other deaths or injuries occurred.

Motivation

According to Kyle’s testimony, all three men gave chase and were either armed or displayed intent to harm. Rittenhouse recalled feeling scared for his life and used his firearm to defend himself. Video evidence shows that at least two of the victims were armed or used an object like a skateboard to incapacitate Rittenhouse.

There are, however, suspicions that Rittenhouse went to the protest in the hopes of committing a crime. Many have argued that there is no need to bring an assault rifle to a protest unless one expects to be harmed or inflict harm.

However, there was not sufficient evidence to suggest premeditation.

The Charges

Kyle Rittenhouse was charged with:

  • First-degree intentional homicide
  • Attempted first-degree homicide
  • First-degree reckless homicide
  • First degree recklessly endangering safety (two counts)
  • Underage possession of a dangerous weapon
  • Failure to comply with emergency orders from state or local government

All of these charges combined could potentially result in a maximum sentence of 205 years behind bars. In most cases, the judge may grant parole or issue the minimum sentence.

The Verdict

After the trial, the jury voted to acquit Rittenhouse of all charges. The judge decided to dismiss the underage possession and failure to comply charges. This means that Rittenhouse will not face formal criminal punishment.

However, an acquittal does not remove the possibility of civil lawsuits. If a person is acquitted after the trial, victims and other parties may come forward and file civil suits, which would not result in formal punishment but rather monetary penalties.

In most cases, the family or individual filing the suit will ask for damages or restitution for the damage caused. Because these are civil cases and not criminal ones, no new evidence can be introduced to the case, but evidence from the criminal trial can be used to persuade the judge to approve damages.

Takeaway

Kyle Rittenhouse is cleared of all charges, but that doesn’t mean he’s out of the woods. In a case where the victims may be upset by the result of a criminal trial, they can file civil lawsuits against the person to get financial restitution. No official suits have been filed yet, but several people have stated that they are exploring the option.

The Law Office of David A. Webster, P.A. believes that everyone deserves a legal defense. Contact our firm for more information.

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