Kyle Rittenhouse apparently struggled to stay alert when the jury selection began Monday in his murder case in Kenosha, Wisconsin, for shooting two people dead and injuring a third during Black Lives Matter protests.
Rittenhouse, 18, yawned in court as lawyers from both sides tried to seat potential jurors who have not decided on the triple shooting.
He faces seven charges, including murder in the fatal shootings of Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, as well as attempted murder to injure Gaige Grosskreutz, 27.
Judge Bruce Schroeder repeatedly stressed that jurors should come to a verdict solely on what they hear in the courtroom, warning: “This is not a political trial.”
“It was mentioned by both political campaigns and the presidential campaign last year, in some cases very, very carelessly,” he said.
The lawyer told the potential jurors that inaccurate information has been shared by people who “do not know what you are going to know.”
“Those of you who have been selected for this jury who will themselves hear the real evidence in this case.”
However, several people in the jury pool said they had already made up their minds.
Among those fired were a man who said he was there when “everything happened” at the scene of the protests, as well as another man who said he had “consistently commented on news feeds and Facebook” about unrest in the city.
Rittenhouse opened fire when riots broke out in the city on August 25, 2020, after police a few days earlier shot Jacob Blake, a black man who was left paralyzed from the waist down.
Prosecutors are expected to claim that Rittenhouse traveled to Kenosha to seek out conflict.
The defense has claimed that Rittenhouse, who claims he traveled to the city to protect a business, feared for his life at every meeting.
With Post wires