The judge in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial has dropped the gun charge against the 18-year-old.
Just before hearing closing arguments, Judge Bruce Schroeder dismissed count 6 of illegal possession of a firearm.
The prosecution attempted to argue that it was illegal for Kyle to be carrying the rifle in Kenosha, however the defense succesfully argued that in Wisconsin, it is legal to carry a rifle with a barrel longer than 16 inches.
The prosecution put much of their case into the charges of illegal possession of a firearm, and now they may have to settle on pushing for lesser charges.
Judge Shroeder instructed the jury that they could consider lesser charges if the panel felt that the prosecution had failed to meet the burden of truth for the original charges.
Here's ABC News with details:
Prior to closing arguments, Schroeder instructed the jury that they will be allowed to consider lesser charges against Rittenhouse if the panel decides the prosecution failed to meet its burden to prove the original charges.
The judge also granted a defense motion on Monday to dismiss a charge of possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under 18 after the prosecution agreed that the rifle Rittenhouse used in the shooting did not meet the required standard of a short-barreled rifle under the law.
Our friends at the Daily Wire have more on the ruling:
“Ahead of Monday’s closing arguments, Judge Bruce Schroeder ruled Wisconsin’s open carry law is so confusingly written it can be interpreted to mean 17-year-olds can openly carry firearms as long as they’re not short-barrel rifles,” detailed a report from the Chicago Tribune. “He believed the jury could only convict if prosecutors proved the barrel of Rittenhouse’s rifle was less than 16 inches and has an overall length shorter than 26 inches.”
“The AR-15-style rifle Rittenhouse used to fatally shoot two men and injure a third is 35 inches long with a barrel length of 16 inches. Under defense questioning, a Kenosha police detective said he believed the Smith & Wesson M & P 15 was standard size,” the report added.
All eyes are on Kenosha as they wait for the verdict.