Rittenhouse murder case thrown in jeopardy after a mistake – The Denver Post


KENOSHA, Wis. (AP) – The murder case against Kyle Rittenhouse was thrown into jeopardy on Wednesday when his lawyers asked for a trial over what appeared to be out-of-frame questions posed to Rittenhouse by the chief prosecutor.

District Judge Bruce Schroeder did not immediately respond to the request, but was clearly angry at the prosecution and told Thomas Binger: “When you say you acted in good faith, I do not believe it.”

The sensational turn came after Rittenhouse in a high-stakes game took the stand, testifying that he was under attack when he shot three men during a night of turbulent protests in Kenosha. “I did not do anything wrong. I defended myself,” the 18-year-old said.

During the cross-examination, Binger asked Rittenhouse whether it was appropriate to use lethal force to protect property. The prosecutor also questioned Rittenhouse’s silence after his arrest.

The jury was led out of the room, and the judge loudly and angrily accused Binger of pursuing an inappropriate interrogation and attempting to impose testimony, which Schroeder previously said he was inclined to ban.

Binger said he thought the door was open for his question because of previous testimony and said he acted in good faith, but the judge denied it.

Rittenhouse lawyer Mark Richards suggested that Binger might be trying to provoke a lawsuit. The defense asked for a prejudicial lawsuit, which means that if given, Rittenhouse cannot be resumed in the shootings.

During his ride on the stand, Rittenhouse told the jury that one of the men grabbed him in a corner and grabbed his rifle, another hit him with a skateboard, and the third came toward him with his own gun.

Rittenhouse sobbed so hard at one point that the referee blew his whistle again. But otherwise he was caught in the stands, even though he was cross-examined aggressively.

Rittenhouse is accused of killing two men and wounding a third during riots that broke out in the summer of 2020 over the wound of a black man by a white Kenosha police officer. He could face life in prison if convicted of the most serious charges against him.

Rittenhouse, who was 17 at the time, went to Kenosha with a semi-automatic AR-style weapon and a medical bag in what the former police youth victim said was an attempt to protect property after rioters set fire to and searched businesses the previous nights .

Rittenhouse testified that he shot Joseph Rosenbaum dead after Rosenbaum chased him and put his hand on Rittenhouse’s rifle. He said he then shot and killed Anthony Huber after Huber hit him in the neck with his skateboard and grabbed his gun.

When a third man, Gaige Grosskreutz, “aimed at me with his pistol aimed directly at my head,” Rittenhouse also shot him and wounded him.

“I did not intend to kill them. I intended to stop the people who attacked me,” Rittenhouse said.

The case against Rittenhouse has divided Americans over whether he was a patriot who took a stand against lawlessness or vigilance. The prosecutor has portrayed him as the instigator that night, while the defense has said he feared for his life, fearing his gun would be taken away and used against him.

Rittenhouse’s decision to testify involved some risk – including the possibility of violent cross-examination by prosecutors – and came despite doubts among some legal experts about the value of him taking a stand, given the obvious weaknesses in the state’s case.

Under the prosecution’s side of the case, some of its own witnesses supported the young man’s claim of self-defense.

As he began to cry in the stands and appeared unable to speak, his mother, Wendy Rittenhouse, sobbed on a bench across the courtroom loudly. One next to her put an arm around her. After the referee called a break, jurors walked past Rittenhouse and watched as he continued to cry.

Much of the testimony Wednesday was centered on the night’s first shooting, as it was Rosenbaum’s death that set in motion the bloodshed that followed.

Rittenhouse said he was walking toward a car dealer’s yard with a fire extinguisher to put out a fire when he heard someone scream, “Burn in hell!” He said he responded by saying, “Kind, kind, kind!”

He said Rosenbaum ran towards him from one side and that another protester with a gun was in front of him, “and I was put in a corner.” He said that was when he started running. He said another protester, Joshua Ziminski, told Rosenbaum, “Get him and kill him.”

Rittenhouse said he heard a shot right behind him, and as he turned around, Rosenbaum came toward him with his arms out in front. “I remember his hand on the barrel of my gun,” Rittenhouse said.

“I’m shooting him,” the defendant said. He also said he thought the object Rosenbaum threw during the hunt – a plastic hospital bag – was a chain he had seen Rosenbaum carry before.

Rittenhouse said he intended to help the injured man but was in shock when someone else took care of him. Rittenhouse said he felt the “safest option” was to approach police who were nearby.

Asked by his lawyer why he did not keep running away from Rosenbaum, Rittenhouse said, “There was no room for me to keep running to.”

Rittenhouse said Rosenbaum held a chain earlier in the night and had twice threatened to kill him. Rittenhouse apologized to the court for his language and quoted Rosenbaum as saying, “I want to cut out your (expressive) hearts!”

When he first took a stand, Rittenhouse was asked by his lawyer if he came to Kenosha looking for problems, and he answered no.

He testified that he saw videos of violence in the center of Kenosha the day before the shootings, including a brick thrown at a police officer’s head and cars burning at a Car Source dealership. Rittenhouse said the Car Source owner “was glad we were there.”


This story has been corrected to show that it was the defense attorney, not the judge, who suggested that the prosecutor was trying to cause a lawsuit.


Bauer reported from Madison, Wisconsin; Foody from Chicago. Associated Press writer Tammy Webber contributed from Fenton, Michigan.


Find the AP’s full coverage of the lawsuit against Kyle Rittenhouse at: https://apnews.com/hub/kyle-rittenhouse

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