Kenosha judge drops misdemeanor weapon possession by a minor charge in Rittenhouse trial

As the prosecution and defense in the Kyle Rittenhouse case began their closing arguments Monday, Judge Bruce Schroeder dropped an absolute bombshell on the prosecution.

According to The Hill, Judge Schroeder announced that he was dismissing a charge of possession of a dangerous weapon by a minor, which was a result of specific exemptions in Wisconsin’s state code regarding minors with firearms. 

It was over the weekend that speculation was rampant that the judge might make the announcement, given that the state’s exemptions within sections of their firearms laws seemed to exclude Rittenhouse from facing that particular charge.

There was some initial confusion on all three sides of the case, to include the judge, on whether or not Rittenhouse’s possession of the AR-style rifle fell within one of the statutes of state law, but ultimately the prosecution opted not to press further on the matter, given that it would only be a misdemeanor charge that could theoretically give the jury a lesser charge on which to focus.

Notably, Judge Schroeder initially refused to toss the charge, as requested by Rittenhouse’s lawyers, who cited the tedious state law that called such a charge into question.

“I have big problems with this statute, I’ve made no bones about that from the beginning,” Judge Schroeder said prior to his final decision on the matter.

If convicted on the charge, Rittenhouse would have faced a possible nine-month prison sentence, at maximum, and up to a $10,000 fine in addition to the incarceration, though again, it would have been a much lesser charge compared to the murder charges he currently faces.

On Monday evening, the judge provided the jury a thorough explanation of what they’re expected to do during the deliberation period, which began on Tuesday morning. As of this writing, a verdict has not been returned, though some believe it could happen at any moment, or stretch out through the week.

In the meantime, protesters on both sides of the issue — both for and against Rittenhouse — gathered in front of the courthouse on Tuesday while America awaits the jury’s verdict.