Defense rests its case at murder trial of Kyle Rittenhouse

National/World

KENOSHA, Wis. (AP) — The defense has rested its case at the murder trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, setting the stage for closing arguments in the shootings that left Americans divided over whether he was a patriot taking a stand against lawlessness or a vigilante.

The judge indicated closing arguments could be held Monday.

Rittenhouse’s lawyers completed their side of the case on Day 9 of the trial Thursday, a day after the 18-year-old Rittenhouse told the jury he was defending himself from attack and had no choice when he used his rifle to kill two men and wound a third on the streets of Kenosha.

Prosecutors have sought to portray Rittenhouse as the instigator of the bloodshed, which took place during a tumultuous night of protests against racial injustice in August 2020.

Rittenhouse could get life in prison if convicted.

The defense put witnesses on the stand across 2 1/2 days. Prosecutors presented testimony over a span of about five.

The protests in Kenosha were set off by the wounding of Jacob Blake, a Black man, by a white police officer. Rittenhouse, then 17, went to Kenosha from his home in Antioch, Illinois, in what the former police and fire youth cadet said was an effort to protect property after rioters set fires and ransacked businesses on previous nights.

Rittenhouse is white, as were those he shot.

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