KENOSHA, Wis. — After an emotional day of testimony and a call for a mistrial in Kyle Rittenhouse’s murder trial, his defense attorneys continued to build their self-defense case Thursday, calling a use-of-force expert, media commentator and police officer to the stand.

Rittenhouse, 18, is charged with killing two men and injuring a third during chaotic protests in this Wisconsin city south of Milwaukee after a white police officer shot Jacob Blake, a Black man, in August 2020.

The testimony Thursday came a day after Rittenhouse’s attorneys asked for a mistrial with prejudice due to questions from prosecutor Thomas Binger. Bruce Schroeder stated that he would decide later so Binger could respond to the judge and refer to case law.

Jurors on Thursday heard from John Black, an expert in use of force from Oregon ​​who said approximately one minute and 20 seconds passed from the time of Rittenhouse’s first shot  to his final shot. The amount of time Rittenhouse spent firing each shot took less than seven seconds, Black said.

There are tears, screaming and shouts of indignation.The dramatic Rittenhouse murder trial could be about to take place

Prosecutors and the defense argued over how much video Black would be allowed to show. Black claimed that he studied videos taken in Kenosha the night before the shootings, to determine the events.

Binger stated that the judge had previously said Black could only establish the firing order and not the preceding steps. However, Schroeder permitted Black to present a larger section. Prosecutors previously objected to Black including any opinion about whether Rittenhouse acted reasonably in using deadly force on the night of the shootings. Schroeder agreed that the jury could decide for themselves.

The defense and prosecution also questioned a Kenosha police officer, Brittni Bray, on shell casings she collected from the scene of the shootings of Anthony Huber, who was killed, and Grosskreutz, who was injured. She also testified about how to clear a jammed AR-15 rifle. Bray stated that jamming could be caused by either a spent or live round.

Read more from Wednesday’s emotional hearingAs defense requests a mistrial, the Kyle Rittenhouse murder trial heats up

Drew Hernandez, a media commentator who filmed video from Kenosha, including of the fatal shooting of Joseph Rosenbaum, also took the stand. Hernandez is a journalist for Real America’s Voice. This right-wing website hosts a talk show hosted by Steve Bannon (an advisor to President Donald Trump).

Hernandez stated that Hernandez traveled from other states to Kenosha to document “riots from Antifa and BLM.” According to Hernandez, he didn’t see Rittenhouse act aggressively that night.

Binger asked Hernandez questions about Hernandez’s attorney Hernandez, who he hired from Kenosha in order to provide video footage to each side of the trial. The defense objected. Binger could continue with the questions, however it would be monitored closely by the judge.

Thursday was far less emotional than the shouting and crying that occurred in the courtroom as Rittenhouse testified a day earlier.

Rittenhouse broke down as he recounted the events leading up to the shootings and how he said he feared for his life.

“I did nothing wrong.” Rittenhouse was 17, when he went to Kenosha. He agreed to assist a friend in protecting a car company after nights of protest.

Rittenhouse claimed he was trapped when Rosenbaum pursued Rittenhouse and took his gun. Rittenhouse claimed that “a mob” chased him after he shot him. He was also struck by a board and rock. He shot Huber after being hit a second time with the skateboard, and then shot Grosskreutz after he approached him with a pistol.

It happened this way:The visual timeline of violence and death in Kenosha following the police shooting of Jacob Blake

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 claimed that he used deadly force to stop the men attacking him, but that he did not use it as a defense.

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.

Kyle Rittenhouse testifies about the shootings under cross-examination in his trial in Kenosha Circuit Court on Nov. 10.

Binger pointed out Rittenhouse’s first testimony sharing his “side” of the story and suggested Rittenhouse could be changing his testimony in order to appeal to media coverage, witnesses statements and previous videos. Defense attorney Mark Richards objected, saying it was Rittenhouse’s right to remain silent and the prosecutor shouldn’t comment on that right.

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.” 

Who is who?This is the Kyle Rittenhouse trial judge, attorneys and other key witnesses.

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.”

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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