KENOSHA WISCONSI – After an emotional day of testimony and a call for a mistrial in Kyle Rittenhouse’s murder trial, his defense attorneys will call more witnesses, including a use-of-force expert, to the stand Thursday to build their self-defense case.

Rittenhouse, 18, is charged with killing two people and wounding a third during violent protests in August 2020 in Kenosha, Wisconsin, after a white police officer shot Jacob Blake, a Black man.

Rittenhouse testified Wednesday, at times breaking down in tears, as he recounted the events leading up to the shootings and how he said he feared for his life.

“I did nothing wrong.” Rittenhouse claimed that Rittenhouse had defended himself.

After questioning from prosecutor Thomas Binger, Rittenhouse’s attorneys also asked for a mistrial with prejudice Wednesday. Judge Bruce Schroeder stated that he would make a ruling later to allow Binger the time to reply and reference case law.

The Illinois teenager, who was 17 when he traveled to Kenosha and agreed to help a friend protect a car business following nights of protest, fatally shot Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26. He wounded Gaige Grosskreutz, 27.

Continue reading from Wednesday’s emotional listening:The murder trial of Kyle Rittenhouse heats up as the defense calls for a mistrial

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Rittenhouse answered questions from his lawyers and said that he felt trapped as Rosenbaum pursued him. He then grabbed his gun. Rittenhouse stated that he shot him after he had been hit with a skateboard, and was then struck by a rock and a mob. He shot Huber after being hit a second time with the skateboard, and then shot Grosskreutz after he approached him with a pistol.

Previous testimony had corroborated many of the details Rittenhouse laid out, and even the state’s witnesses did little to undermine the defense’s claims.

Rittenhouse stated Wednesday that he had used deadly force, but only in an attempt to keep the men away from him.

Binger harped on why Rittenhouse believed he needed an AR-15 that night and the amount of risk he perceived in the crowd.

However, some lines of Binger’s questioning drew sharp criticism from Schroeder and prompted the motion for a mistrial with prejudice, which would prevent Rittenhouse from being tried again.

Binger pointed out that Rittenhouse’s testimonies were his first attempt to share his side of the story. He suggested Rittenhouse might be adapting his testimony for previous video, witness statements or media coverage. Defense attorney Mark Richards objected to the remarks, saying it’s Rittenhouse’s right to remain silent and the prosecutor shouldn’t comment on that right.

Kyle Rittenhouse testifies about the shootings under cross examination in his trial in Kenosha Circuit Court Wednesday November 10, 2021.

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Later, Binger sought to bring up a video from 15 days before the shooting in which Rittenhouse said of CVS shoplifters: “I wish I had my AR, I’d fire some rounds at them.” 

Binger tried before to present it, but Schroeder stated that he wasn’t inclined toward allowing it. After Schroeder sent the jury out of the courtroom, he berated Binger for bringing it up.

“Don’t be brazen! Schroeder was furious and told Binger to stop the line of questioning. At a later point, Binger apologized and said he had brought it up in “good faith,” thinking Schroeder’s ruling had left the door open for it to be introduced if the evidence led to it. Schroeder replied: “I don’t believe you.”

After days of witness testimony by police officers and other witnesses as well as Grosskreutz, Grosskreutz, the owner of Grosskreutz’s car lot, and others, trial began. Jurors have seen photo and videos from the scene, as well as demonstrations with Rittenhouse’s rifle.

Rittenhouse is also charged with reckless endangerment and possessing a firearm as a minor. Tuesday’s curfew violation charges were dismissed.

Source: USAToday.com

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