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Rittenhouse trial goes to opening statements after jury set

Kyle Rittenhouse looks back at the gallery in the courtroom as the room is let go for an afternoon break at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wis., on Monday, Nov. 1, 2021. Rittenhouse, an aspiring police officer, shot two people to death and wounded a third during a night of anti-racism protests in Kenosha last year.

KENOSHA, Wis.  — The homicide trial of Kyle Rittenhouse headed toward opening statements Tuesday after a jury was seated in just a day despite the polarizing nature of the case.

About a dozen prospective jurors were dismissed after expressing strong opinions about the case or worrying that they couldn’t be fair. Others feared for their personal safety.

A special education teacher seated on the panel said she figures “either way this goes you’re going to have half the country upset with you.”

Rittenhouse is charged with fatally shooting two men and wounding a third after he traveled to Kenosha in August 2020, as the city was upended by sometimes violent protests over the police shooting of a Black man.

The homicide charges include one count of reckless homicide, one count of intentional homicide, and one of attempted intentional homicide.

A legal expert said the difference in the charges is that prosecutors aren’t alleging that Rittenhouse intended to kill the first man he shot. But their charges in the other two shootings allege that Rittenhouse intended to shoot those men.

 

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Associated Press

Associated Press

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