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KENOSHA, Wis. – One of the many faces seen in the background of the ongoing Kyle Rittenhouse trial was someone who is no stranger to packed courtrooms and high-profile cases: longtime jury consultant Dr. Jo-Ellan Dimitrius.
Dimitrius could be seen sitting next to Rittenhouse’s mother, Wendy Rittenhouse, inside the Kenosha County, Wisconsin courtroom during the trial. On Nov. 10, while the 18-year-old took the stand in his own defense, Dimitrius could be seen consoling a sobbing Wendy Rittenhouse.
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But Dimitrius is much more than just someone tending to the upset mother of a defendant. She’s working as a jury consultant hired by Rittenhouse’s legal team for her decades of knowledge and expertise in reading people and situations.
Kyle Rittenhouse’s mother, Wendy Rittenhouse, right, is comforted by defense jury expert Jo-Ellan Dimitrius as she listens to testimony about Rittenhouse shooting people during his trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse on Nov. 10, 2021 in Kenosha, Wis.
(Mark Hertzberg-Pool/Getty Images)
A spokesperson for her firm, Dimitrius & Associates LLC, confirmed to Fox News Digital Wednesday that Dimitrius was “retained by the defense trial team.”
According to her firm’s website, Dimitrius has worked as a consultant for more than 1,000 trials and been involved in the selection of more than 600 juries. She boasts an “ability to understand and predict the behaviors of jurors, witnesses, lawyers and judges.”
Dimitrius, who has written three books, was a part of the defense team that helped acquit O.J. Simpson of charges in the 1994 murders of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and Ronald Goldman.
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Defense jury consultant Jo-Ellan Dimitrius (L) and Mark Geragos, Scott Peterson’s lawyer, return from a lunch break at the San Mateo County Courthouse for a change of venue motion May 11, 2004 in Redwood City, California. (Tony Avelar-Pool/Getty Images)
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The O.J. Simpson defense lawyers hold a press conference following a court session in Los Angeles. (L-R) Barry Scheck, Howard Harris, Shawn Chapman, Carl Douglas, Johnnie Cochran, Robert Blazier, Jo-Ellan Dimitrius (behind Blasier) and Robert Shapiro. (David SPRAGUE/AFP via Getty Images)
She has also worked on trial teams for other big names, such as Scott Peterson, Kobe Bryant and Francis Ford Coppola in his lawsuit against Warner Brothers Studio over a “Pinocchio” film project.
On her latest assignment, Dimitrius is working with defense attorneys Mark Richards and Corey Chirafisi, among others, and the Rittenhouse family.
Rittenhouse was 17 when he and at least one friend said they traveled to the Wisconsin city from Illinois on Aug. 25, 2020, to protect local businesses and provide medical aid after two nights of unrest with businesses being looted and set on fire.
Kyle Rittenhouse, center, enters the courtroom with his attorneys Mark Richards, left, and Corey Chirafisi for a meeting called by Judge Bruce Schroeder at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wis., on Thursday, Nov. 18, 2021.
(Sean Krajacic/The Kenosha News)
He faces up to life in prison if convicted on the most serious counts. Charges against Rittenhouse stem from the night of Aug. 25, 2020, when he fatally shot two men — Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber, — and wounded a third, Gaige Grosskreutz, during a night of riots in Kenosha.
His defense attorneys have repeatedly argued that he was acting in self-defense. Prosecutors have depicted Rittenhouse as instigating the attacks.
The panel of jurors, which consists of seven women and five men, is in its third day of deliberating the charges.
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