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As Kyle Rittenhouse finished his testimony Wednesday, the judge in the case indicated jurors could begin deliberations by Monday, but that timeline could shift as the judge admitted Thursday morning that he had his days confused.
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Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder said he believed Rittenhouse was testifying on Thursday, but the day was actually Wednesday. The shift in timeline means closing arguments could be heard by Friday, depending on how long testimony from the defense's final witnesses lasts.
Rittenhouse's attorneys said they would likely call three more witnesses to the stand following Rittenhouse. The first of those witnesses began his testimony Thursday morning.
Rittenhouse testified before a jury Wednesday about the moments he opened fire on three people during unrest in Kenosha, growing so emotional at times that the judge in the case called for a break.
Rittenhouse, now 18, killed two men and wounded a third during a night of turbulent demonstrations against racial injustice in Kenosha in the summer of 2020.
The former police youth cadet from Antioch, Illinois, had gone to Kenosha with an AR-style semi-automatic rifle and a medical kit in what he said was an effort to protect property from the damaging protests that broke out over the shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, by a white Kenosha police officer.
While Rittenhouse is white, as were those he shot, the case has stirred debate over vigilantism, the right to bear arms and the unrest that erupted around the U.S. that summer over the killing of George Floyd and other police violence against Black people.
Wisconsin’s self-defense law allows someone to use deadly force only if “necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm.” The jury must decide whether Rittenhouse believed he was in such peril and whether that belief was reasonable under the circumstances.