OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
An attorney for Kyle Rittenhouse has provided an update on his client’s status after his trial ended in Kenosha, Wis., on Friday with a series of not guilty verdicts.
Namely, defense lawyer Mark Richards believes that Rittenhouse will have to leave the city and quite possibly the area, even though he grew up in the area and has friends and relatives there.
The Western Journal reported:
Rittenhouse lived with his mother in Antioch, Illinois, which is just a short drive south of Kenosha. The teen worked in and partially grew up in Kenosha, with multiple members of his family living in that city, where he has deep roots.
Due to safety concerns after he was found not guilty, Richards to reporters in a post-verdict news conference he does not envision Rittenhouse staying in the area due to death threats.
“He has to get on with his life, the best he can,” said Richards. “I think eventually some anonymity will come back to it.”
“I don’t think he’ll continue to live in this area. I think it’s too dangerous,” added the attorney.
He went on to say that Rittenhouse has had 24-hour security since after he was charged in last year’s Aug. 25, 2020, shootings. Richards went on to say he was thankful that Judge Bruce Schoeder kept Rittenhouse’s address private.
Richards also said that he was truly shocked by the number of death threats all concerned with the trial were getting.
“Everybody in this case — and when I say that, I mean prosecution and defense — to me, it’s scary how many death threats we’ve gotten,” Richards said, adding that at one point, his own phone number became compromised.
“After the third death threat, I quit answering the phone,” he said.
Richards also addressed other aspects of the case:
Kyle is not here. He’s on his way home. He wants to get on with his life.
He has a huge sense of relief for what the jury did to him today. He wishes none of this would have ever happened.
But as he said when he testified, he did not start this. And we’re thankful in more ways than one that the jury finally got to hear the true story.
And when I say the media, I’m talking about social media and things like that.
The story that came out from the beginning was not the true story. And that was something that we had to work to overcome in court. And we think we did that.
Richards also described the amount of time it took for the jury to deliberate.
“I never predict how long a jury will be out. But it was the longest jury deliberation I’ve ever been a part of it. I had an 18 hour and a 17 hour and one was a federal and one was a state case. It was torture,” he said.
“And this might sound like a small thing but the judge wanted us to be within ten minutes. Obviously, my office isn’t within 10 minutes. So we have are to sit in that room on the third floor and it was hell,” he said.
Richards also said that it was not even a “close call” when it came to deciding to put Rittenhouse on the stand to testify in his own defense.
“Had to put on him. It wasn’t a close call. At certain points, we wondered whether we would put him on. We had a mock jury,” he said.
“And we did two different jurors, one with him testifying and one without him testifying. And it was substantially better when he testified. And I mean to a marked degree. And that sealed it,” he added.
“But in Wisconsin, if you don’t put a client on the stand, you’re going to lose, period.”