State Watch

Rittenhouse lawyer: ‘It’s scary’ how many death threats have been received

Kyle Rittenhouse’s defense attorney Mark Richards said Friday afternoon that his client, his legal team and the prosecution have faced death threats amid the homicide trial. 

A jury in Wisconsin on Friday acquitted Rittenhouse of all charges brought against him, including intentional homicide. In a press conference following the jury’s decision, Richards remarked on what was next for the man who fatally shot two people and injured another last year during unrest in Kenosha, Wis. 

“He has to get on with his life the best he can,” Richards said. “I think eventually some anonymity will come back to it. I don’t think he will continue to live in this area.”

“Everybody in this case — and when I say that I mean prosecution, defense — to me it’s scary how many death threats we’ve had,” he added. 

Richards recounted a time when he was on his way home from court in Kenosha and he answered the phone to receive a death threat. He said that after the third death threat, he stopped answering calls. 

Richards said he was glad that the judge presiding over the case protected Rittenhouse’s address, adding that his client has had 24-hour security. 

The jury on Friday reached its verdict after three-and-a-half days of deliberation. The jury acquitted Rittenhouse of all five of the charges brought against the man, bringing an end to the controversial trial. 

In August 2020, then-17-year-old Rittenhouse traveled from Illinois to Kenosha where demonstrators gathered in the streets to protest the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man. Blake survived the shooting, but was left paralyzed from the waist down.  

During the unrest, Rittenhouse — who brought with him an AR-15 rifle that he illegally purchased from a friend — shot and killed Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, and wounded a third protester. Rittenhouse claimed that he fired his weapon out of self-defense. Lawyers for the man told jurors that he was in Kenosha to protect local businesses from damage and looting. 

During the trial, Rittenhouse gave an emotional testimony about the day that the shooting occurred.

Prosecutors argued during the court proceedings that Rittenhouse’s actions could not legally be considered self-defense because he had provoked the demonstrators to attack him. 

“You cannot claim self-defense against a danger you create,” Thomas Binger, one of the prosecutors on the case, told jurors earlier this week. “That’s critical right here. If you’re the one who’s threatening others, you lose the right to claim self-defense.”
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