‘Rittenhouse would’ve been convicted of a misdemeanor’: West Virginia attorney explains self-defense law in WV

West Virginia

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – After more than 25 hours of deliberation, the jury acquitted Kyle Rittenhouse Friday of all five felony counts he had been charged with.

They were:

  • First-degree reckless homicide
  • Two counts of first-degree recklessly endangering safety
  • First-degree intentional homicide
  • Attempted first-degree intentional homicide

For West Virginia NAACP Vice President Darryl Clausell, it was frustrating to see.

“You know, you want to believe that justice prevails in these situations, but you know, you see what happens; this is just another example of what divides our nation,” said Claussel.

At Pritt & Spano in Charleston, they followed the Rittenhouse trial closely.

Criminal Defense Attorney Alan Pritt says the biggest takeaway from the Rittenhouse trial is that in West Virginia, you cannot possess a firearm as a minor.

“In West Virginia, he would’ve been convicted of a misdemeanor for being a minor and being in possession of a firearm,” said Pritt.

“In West Virginia, he would’ve been convicted of a misdemeanor for being a minor and being in possession of a firearm.”

alan pritt, criminal defense attorney

Pritt says in West Virginia, with constitutional carry and open carry laws, anyone over the age of 21 typically has the right to legally carry a firearm where they want to.

So when a then 17-year-old Rittenhouse took an assault rifle to a protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin that ended up with two men dead and one man injured, it could get muddy.

“The question would be whether or not his acts were premeditated and I think that’s where the prosecutor really struggled in this case, to prove that night that this individual has the intent to kill those individuals and that it wasn’t in self-defense,” he said.

Still, Clausell says he almost expected the not guilty verdict would happen.

“And you could see it in the performance, I mean, when I look at cases like these sometimes I can just see a performance of actors and individuals who are just going through the motions,” said Claussel.

Throughout the trial and during his testimony Rittenhouse sobbed jarringly during and argued self-defense.

The best thing Claussel says we can do now from here is to have more dialogue.

“It’s either we’re going to be, we have dialogue going and work together, or we’re going to be hotheads and destroy each other,” he said.

The jury was made up of seven women and five men.

Follow Larisa Casillas on Facebook and Twitter for the latest local and breaking news!

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Download the FREE WOWK 13 News App

Washington DC Bureau

More Washington DC Bureau

Trending Stories

Don't Miss

Trending Stories