NOTE: NBC Chicago will provide a live feed from the courtroom as available throughout the trial. Watch live in the player above.
With jurors still deliberating in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial, many are anxiously awaiting a verdict in the polarizing case that has garnered nationwide attention.
Once the jury announces a verdict has been reached, there will likely be some time before the verdict is read in court. It remains unclear how long jury deliberations could take.
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The jury began deliberating Tuesday after listening to dueling portrayals of Rittenhouse as a “wannabe soldier” who went looking for the trouble, or a concerned citizen who came under attack while trying to protect property.
The case went to the anonymous, 12-member jury after Rittenhouse himself, in an unusual move, was allowed by the judge to draw the slips of paper from a raffle drum that determined which of the 18 people who sat in judgment during the trial would decide his fate and which ones would be dismissed as alternates. That task is usually done by a courtroom clerk, not the defendant.
Rittenhouse, 18, faces life in prison if convicted as charged for using a AR-style semi-automatic rifle to kill two men and wound a third during a night of protests against racial injustice in Kenosha in the summer of 2020. The former police youth cadet is white, as were those he shot.
The resulting jury appeared to be overwhelmingly white.
Rittenhouse testified he acted in self-defense after coming under attack, while prosecutors argued he instigated the bloodshed. The case has become a flashpoint in the U.S. debate over guns, protests, vigilantism and law and order.
With a verdict near, Gov. Tony Evers said that 500 National Guard members would stand ready for duty in Kenosha if needed.
Rittenhouse, then 17, traveled to Kenosha from his home in Antioch, Illinois, in what he said was an effort to protect property from rioters in the days after a Black man, Jacob Blake, was shot by a white Kenosha police officer.
Rittenhouse then shot and killed Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, and wounded Gaige Grosskreutz, now 28.
Prosecutors said Rittenhouse was “looking for trouble that night,” and he repeatedly showed the jury drone video that he said depicted Rittenhouse pointing the AR-style weapon at demonstrators.
In his instructions to the jury, Circuit Judge Bruce Schroder said that to accept Rittenhouse’s claim of self-defense, the jurors must find that he believed there was an unlawful threat to him and that the amount of force he used was reasonable and necessary.