Kyle Rittenhouse apparently struggled to stay alert as jury selection got underway Monday in his murder trial in Kenosha, Wis., for shooting two people to death and wounding a third during Black Lives Matter protests.
Rittenhouse, 18, let out a yawn in court as lawyers from both sides attempted to seat prospective jurors who haven’t made up their minds about the triple shooting.
He is facing seven charges, including homicide in the fatal shootings of Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, as well as attempted homicide for wounding Gaige Grosskreutz, 27.
Judge Bruce Schroeder repeatedly stressed that jurors must come to a verdict solely on what they hear in the courtroom, cautioning, “This is not a political trial.”
“It was mentioned by both political campaigns and the presidential campaign last year, in some instances very, very imprudently,” he said.
The jurist told the prospective jurors that inaccurate information has been shared by people who “don’t know what you’re going to know.”
“Those of you who are selected for this jury, who are going to hear for yourselves the real evidence in this case.”
Several people in the jury pool, however, said that they had already made up their minds.
Among those dismissed was a man who said that he was there when “all of that happened” at the site of the protests as well as another man who said he had “been commenting consistently on news feeds and Facebook” about unrest in the city.
Rittenhouse opened fire as riots erupted in the city on Aug. 25, 2020, following the police shooting a few days earlier of Jacob Blake, a black man who was left paralyzed from the waist down.
Prosecutors are expected to argue that Rittenhouse traveled to Kenosha seeking out conflict.
The defense has argued that Rittenhouse, who claims that he traveled to the city to protect a business, feared for his life in each encounter.
With Post wires