HAPPENING TODAY: Jury deliberating case for former ETSU student charged with civil rights intimidation


WASHINGTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL)- Deliberation will begin Wednesday morning in the case of a former ETSU student accused of civil rights intimidation.

Students say Tristan Rettke dressed up in a gorilla mask and held bananas attached to a rope in front of people during a Black Lives Matter event on the campus of East Tennessee State University in September 2016.

Six of the seven witnesses that took the stand Tuesday at the Washington County Courthouse had connections with the Black Lives Matter rally.

Those students and former students were shown the gorilla mask, rope, and bag that Rettke used that day.

Assistant District Attorney Erin McArdle asked the witnesses how those items made them feel.

Many said the items evoked thoughts and feelings of racism and slavery.

Rettke’s attorney Patrick Denton attempted to make the case that none of the participants of the Black Lives Matter protest were fearful for their safety.

News Channel 11 will continue to follow the latest developments from the courtroom and bring you those updates on-air and on wjhl.com.

SEE ALSO: Trial underway for former ETSU student charged with civil rights intimidation

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