By Lauren Johnstone, CNN Staff Writer
(CNN) — Donald Trump was among the 60 million viewers who sat through the most watched trial of the year on Monday night. When it was over, the former reality TV star-turned-president-elect was going gaga.
Before the verdict was read, the crowd went wild and shouted: “USA, USA.”
People hold signs on 6th Street in New York as jury deliberation begins. Credit: AFP/Getty Images
But a long line of attorneys and Washington insiders says a move by Judge Kelly Currie and jurors left them perplexed.
Here’s what legal experts say may have swayed the jury’s decision.
‘Baffling’ analysis of evidence
Earlier in the trial, the defense team made a presentation about the unique condition of a brain tumor on Kyle Rittenhouse’s brain.
The claim that Rittenhouse’s tumor played a role in some of the killings was met with skepticism by some legal experts.
Rittenhouse’s defense team argued that the tumor (which was surgically removed) ‘played a role’ in the crimes
CNN’s Gabrielle Ware says the defense’s case was simply a “fishing expedition” to use the defense’s theory of pathogenic disease to say Kyle Rittenhouse could not have been responsible for the crimes committed.
Rittenhouse’s lack of solid alibi is problematic, says the appeal attorney Hayley Fox.
Prosecutors chose not to present a single piece of testimony in front of the jury suggesting that Rittenhouse might be guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Currie took the unusual step of halting jury deliberations because of the objections to Rittenhouse’s interpretation of a test called a slurred speech test.
Rittenhouse testified that the test was administered to him by a physician. But the test is sometimes administered by lawyers to make sure witnesses are telling the truth.
The defense team says there are a lot of problems with that interpretation, including that Sloner’s test is usually given to people with traumatic brain injuries and strokes.
Jeffrey Sallet, a former federal prosecutor and former US Attorney for the District of Columbia, says the jury was “back in limbo” when they got out of that recessed hearing.
The defense attacked Rittenhouse and his “bogus brain tumor defense.” The prosecution didn’t defend Rittenhouse.
According to the appeals attorney Morgan Lewis & Bockius, Currie’s interruptions may have been based on some insufficient evidence — based on the unreliable nature of Rittenhouse’s brain tumor theory.
Second suspect tries to tell his story
According to CNN’s Fredricka Whitfield, prosecutors argued that Rittenhouse’s roommate Brandon Bass was the main suspect behind the grisly murders because he had a truck that the murder victims were apparently cut into for their Halloween costumes and that he was one of the last people at the couples apartment.
Bass maintained his innocence during his testimony Monday.
He said he had consensual sex with Corbett, but denied killing his wife.
Guns, hair, lipstick and masks
After Rittenhouse was led from the courtroom by officials, jurors visited the crime scene, saw a truck and saw a large blood stain on one of the walls.
After finding Rittenhouse guilty of three counts of murder, they also looked at evidence recovered from the crime scene, including the property where the throat-cutting knives were kept and the bloodied pillowcase and a chair from the Corbett and Rittenhouse apartments.
From the car, Rittenhouse’s blood was found on a glove and a flashlight, alongside the DNA of one of the defendant’s relatives and an unknown blood stain on the tire tread of Rittenhouse’s truck.
Prosecutors said the two killers had detailed plans for their killings and took care to store their evidence. They also said Rittenhouse drove in and out of Corbett’s Long Island home as though he knew she would be home.
Her husband and their baby, however, came home from work one day and learned the devastating news.