Jury finds Kyle Rittenhouse NOT GUILTY on all charges
KENOSHA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Kyle Rittenhouse is a free man after a jury found him not guilty on all five charges he faced. The verdict came down just after noon Friday, Nov. 19, after more than 25 hours of deliberation.
Watch the verdict being read below:
Rumors started swirling early Friday morning at the courthouse that a verdict was coming. By noon, it was confirmed. But instead of an hour's notice, it was read almost immediately.
Inside the courthouse, you could feel the tension as Kyle Rittenhouse stood for the reading of the verdicts.
The judge warned there could be no emotional reactions. After the clerk read the first verdict, only an audible gasp from Rittenhouse's mother. RIttenhouse held it together until the third count was read, and after the fifth and final count, he collapsed, revealing behind him his two sisters in tears.
He was quickly escorted from the courtroom and the verdicts were entered into the record.
"The charges against the defendant are dismissed with prejudice and he is released from the obligation of his bond," Judge Schroeder said.
Prosecutors and defense attorneys left without acknowledging each other.
"A prosecutor is supposed to seek the truth," said defense attorney Mark Richards. "It's not about winning. And this case became about winning, and that's probably why it got so personal."
Attorney Mark Richards says it's the jury that got to the bottom of the truth.
"We're thankful in more ways than one, that the jury finally got to hear the true story," Richards said.
Earlier this week, prosecutor Thomas Binger said he would not be commenting after a verdict, but he did send us a statement which says in part, "While we are disappointed with the verdict, it must be respected. We are grateful to the members of the jury for their diligent and thoughtful deliberations."
None of the jurors spoke after the verdict.
Our best insight into the jury's decisions is their questions -- and they didn't ask many. It seems nothing was more vital to this case or the deliberations than a 30-second drone video.
The state received drone video of the Joseph Rosenbaum shooting a week into the Kyle Rittenhouse trial and shifted their entire strategy -- hanging the case on 30 seconds.
Prosecutors argued it shows Rittenhouse pointing a gun, provoking the situation and eliminating his right to self-defense.
Thomas Binger made it the focus of his closing arguments.
"We're going to replay it quite a few times so you can see quite clearly the defendant sets the fire extinguisher down with his left hand and then brings his left hand over to the gun and raises it and points," said Binger.
The defense argued the video isn't clear and called it a desperate last minute attempt by the state.
"Provocation, that's another thing. Think back to Nov. 2, when this case started, did you hear one word out of Mr. Binger's mouth about provocation? You didn't, cause it was never said. But when his case explodes in his face, he goes to provocation," said Mark Richards, defense attorney.
The jury took notice, asking to view the drone video and slow motion versions of it during deliberations. They spent 46 minutes alone in the courtroom, watching it on multiple screens and talking about what they saw.
It was the very last question from the jury. They then went back into the jury room for more than a day of deliberations before reaching a verdict.
Again, the jury left without talking to anyone. Some even covered their faces as they left.
The judge thanked them for the three weeks they devoted to the case. He also repeatedly assured them every effort will be made to protect them.
Watch our CBS 58 News coverage following the reading of the verdict below: