Kyle Rittenhouse broke down in tears and collapsed into his seat when the jury announced that he had been found not guilty on all five charges against him. Rittenhouse's defense attorney Corey Chirafisi helped the teen regain his composure as he tried to stand up and told him to remain seated. Rittenhouse then embraced his other defense attorney Mark Richards.
Rittenhouse was charged with first-degree reckless homicide, attempted first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree intentional homicide, and two counts of first-degree recklessly endangering safety. He was also charged with illegal possession of a firearm, but the charge was dropped due to a loophole in the law. The teen argued he was acting in self-defense when he opened fire during a protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, killing two people and injuring a third.
Kenosha County Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger said that while he was "disappointed with the verdict, it must be respected."
"We are grateful to the members of the jury for their diligent and thoughtful deliberations. The Kenosha community has endured much over the past 15 months, and yet we remain resilient and strong. We ask that members of our community continue to express their opinions and feelings about this verdict in a civil and peaceful manner," Binger said.
This was not the first time that Rittenhouse became overcome with emotion during the trial. Rittenhouse began hyperventilating and broke down in tears while he was testifying. The judge called for a brief break in the proceedings while the 18-year-old collected himself.