As closing arguments begin in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, the presiding judge, Judge Bruce Schroeder, dismissed a charge that was key to the prosecutions case. Rittenhouse was charged with possession of a weapon of a dangerous weapon by a person under 18- a misdemeanor in the state of Wisconsin. The defense argued that due to an exception in the law, Rittenhouse could not be charged with the misdemeanor because his gun was not short-barreled. This morning, prosecutors conceded the defenses argument and the charge was dropped.
After dismissing the weapons charge, Judge Schroeder gave the jury instructions for their deliberation. The prosecution asked if the jury could consider lesser homicide charges if Rittenhouse was cleared of the charge of first-degree intentional homicide. The judge said that the jury could consider lesser charges of second-degree intentional homicide as well as first-degree reckless homicide. However, Schroeder told the jurors that if they find that Rittenhouse acted lawfully in self defense, “You’re done, and you can return a not guilty verdict without considering the lesser offenses,”.
Judge Schroeder revealed in this mornings deliberations that the defense sought to dismiss Rittenhouses case with prejudice. “The state has repeatedly violated instructions from the Court, acted in bad faith and intentionally provided technological evidence which was different from theirs,” the motion reads. “For those reasons, the defendant respectfully requests the Court find ‘prosecutorial overreaching’ existed, that overreaching was intentional and in bad faith and thereby grant the defendant’s motion for a mistrial with prejudice.” The judge and the prosecution have had a tense relationship throughout the case. This week, Judge Schroeder admonished the prosecution for its line of questioning when Rittenhouse was brought to the stand. He also lectured the proseuction for presenting video evidence that was grainy and low quality.