Tampa Bay legal expert weighs in on Rittenhouse verdict


TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The self-defense argument was critical to the murder trial of 18-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse and has been at the heart of many controversial cases in Florida.

Rittenhouse was found not guilty Friday of first-degree intentional homicide and four other felony charges.

The 18-year-old pleaded self-defense in the deadly Kenosha shootings during unrest last summer.

Roger Futerman is a criminal defense lawyer. He thought the verdict was correct given the circumstances.

“There was a very strong image the defense showed of one of the deceased putting his leg at Rittenhouse’s face right before he was shot and that was a powerful image,” Futerman said “Jurors often don’t vote for the strict truth, they vote for who they like. They did not like the cations of the deceased or the violence they cause.”

Futerman doesn’t think this case will affect the way people view stand your ground in the future.

“Stand your ground is just an extension of self-defense,” Futerman said. “You can use self-defense as most states say in a very similar way, if you have a reasonable belief that you need to use justifiable deadly force to prevent imminent deadly force you can do that. Florida just has a little slight extension of that, you don’t have to retreat in any way to do that.”

The parents of one of the victims, Anthony Huber said in a statement:

“Today`s verdict means there is no accountability for the person who murdered our son. It sends the unacceptable message that armed civilians can show up in any town, incite violence, and then use the danger they have created to justify shooting people in the street.”

“They have to understand the law of self-defense. If you have a justifiable fear that imminent deadly force is about to happen you can use deadly force to prevent that,” Futerman said.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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