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A Reno lawyer breaks down the Rittenhouse murder trial

Published: Nov. 18, 2021 at 6:52 PM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) -The jury has yet to render a verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse case.

That may not be so unusual considering they heard from more than 30 witnesses over six days.

Reno criminal defense attorney Martin Wiener says in his experience there is probably disagreement on guilt going on behind closed doors.

“It could be split six six,” Wiener said. “I remember a trial I had where I watched the jurors when they were deliberating. They took a break to go smoke outside. And I watched through the window and one of the jurors was standing off by herself smoking. And you could see she was very upset, and that could tell you something about the level the deliberations has taken.”

The case involves the then 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse. He is accused of killing two people and injuring one as he patrolled the streets of Kenosha, Wisc. during civil unrest in the summer of 2020,

His attorneys said it was self defense. Prosecutors say Rittenhouse was looking for a fight and used excessive force.

Defense attorneys called for a mistrial twice. The first motion says the prosecutors questioned Rittenhouse’s refusal to talk to law enforcement, even though it’s a constitutional right. The defense also says a mistrial should be called because prosecutors gave their team drone footage of the shooting, but the copy they say was substandard.

The judge has yet to rule on those motions, but Wiener says he may not have to.

“The judge may think, ‘I don’t know what the right decison is here. But maybe if I wait for the jury verdict and it is in favor of the defendant, then I don’t have to make a decision on this tough question.’”

The mistrial requests carry with them a “with or without prejudice” clause.

If a mistrial is declared with prejudice it means Rittenhouse cannot be tried again on the various charges including first degree intentional homicide.

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