Kyle Rittenhouse trial: What charges does Rittenhouse face?

Update:

Nov. 15, 2021, 10:03 a.m. ET: On Monday morning, Kenosha County Circuit Court Judge Bruce Schroeder dismissed Count 6 against Kyle Rittenhouse. Count 6 was a misdemeanor count of possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under 18. That count carried a maximum sentence of 9 months in prison and a $10,000 fine. He is still charged with five counts, including first-degree intentional homicide.

Original story:

The trial of Kyle Rittenhouse will continue Thursday, a day after the 18-year-old testified about the night he shot three people, killing two of them.

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Rittenhouse broke down on the stand Wednesday, sobbing so hard the judge called for a recess and offered him a bottle of water. When trial resumed, Rittenhouse was composed and stayed that way for the rest of his testimony.

Rittenhouse is standing trial for the shootings in August 2020 during protests over a police shooting of Jacob Blake last year in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Rittenhouse is accused of killing Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber and wounding Gaige Grosskreutz.

Rittenhouse faces five felony and one misdemeanor charge in connection with the shootings. The criminal complaint against Rittenhouse lists an aggravating factor for each of the felony charges. That aggravating factor could add more prison time to the basic sentence if he is convicted.

He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The charges are:

Count 1

First-degree reckless homicide: Recklessly causing the death of a person while showing “utter disregard for human life,” according to Wisconsin law. Prosecutors do not have to prove that there was an intent to kill someone under this charge.

This charge is for the fatal shooting of Rosenbaum and carries a basic sentence of up to 60 years in prison.

Count 2

First-degree recklessly endangering safety: Recklessly endangering another person’s safety. Again, showing a disregard for human life.

This charge is for shots fired toward two people where were not hit by the bullets. One is identified as Richard McGinnis and the other has not been identified.

The basic sentence for the count is up to 12 1/2 years in prison, plus a fine of up to $25,000, or both.

Count 3

First-degree intentional homicide: Causing the death of another human with the intent to kill that person without the presence of mitigating circumstances.

This is the most serious charge Rittenhouse faces, and carries a sentence of life in prison.

Count 4

Attempted first-degree intentional homicide: In Wisconsin, attempting to commit first-degree intentional murder carries a basic sentence of up to 60 years in prison.

Rittenhouse was charged with attempted first-degree intentional homicide for the shooting of Grosskreutz.

Count 5

First-degree recklessly endangering safety: Count 5 is the same as Count 2. Count 2 is for McGinnis and Count 5 is for the unidentified person.

Count 6

Possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under 18: State law prohibits minors from openly carrying a firearm in public. The firearm does not have to be loaded for it to be considered a crime for someone under 18.

The crime is a misdemeanor in Wisconsin, which is an open carry state for those over the age of 18. The basic sentence is up to nine months in prison and a $10,000 fine, or both.

Aggravating factor

Use of a dangerous weapon: An aggravating factor in a crime can add years to a sentence for that crime. In Rittenhouse’s case, the use of a dangerous weapon is an aggravating factor and can extend any sentence he may receive, if he is convicted of any of the six counts.