Kyle Rittenhouse Trial: The defense is calling several witnesses after his crucial testimony

First on the stand on the eighth day of testimony was force expert John Black, who testified that less than three seconds passed between the time a protester fired a shot and Kyle Rittenhouse opened fire with his rifle in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last year. .

Brittni Bray, a Kenosha police officer, testified about collecting grenade shells the night of the deadly shooting.

Drew Hernandez, who recorded video of the protests, testified that Rittenhouse tried to reduce tensions at times on the night of the shooting. He told the jury that the first person shot behaved “physically aggressive” even before his meeting with Rittenhouse.

Rittenhouse testified most of the day Wednesday, saying he acted in self-defense when he used an AR-15 rifle to fatally shoot a man who had threatened him, threw a plastic bag at him and chased him.

“I did not do anything wrong. I defended myself,” he testified.

He testified that he subsequently shot at three other people because one tried to kick him, one hit him with a skateboard and one pointed at him with a gun.

But at the cross-examination, Rittenhouse said he knew the man who threw the bag, Joseph Rosenbaum, was unarmed at the time of the shooting. He admitted that he did not know what Rosenbaum was thinking when he chased him – but also said confidently what he thought would have happened.

“If I would have let Mr. Rosenbaum take my firearm from me, he would have used it and killed me with it and probably killed more people if I would have let him get my gun,” he testified.

Rittenhouse’s testimony was crucial to both the prosecution’s and defense’s arguments about his actions on the night of August 25, 2020, when Rittenhouse shot at four people, killing two of them and wounding one. Prosecutors have sought to show that Rittenhouse’s actions were ruthless and criminal, while defense has said he acted in self-defense.

Rittenhouse broke down in tears at one point in his testimony, leading to a brief pause.

The prosecution’s cross – examination also led to heated exchanges between the lawyers and the judge in the case. Twice Judge Bruce Schroeder asked the jury to leave the room and then sharply admonished prosecutor Thomas Binger for his interrogation. The first incident concerned questions about Rittenhouse’s silence after the arrest, and the second was about an incident two weeks before the shootings, which the judge said would not be allowed as evidence.

“Do not be rude to me,” warned Schroeder. “You know very well that a lawyer can not go into those kinds of areas when the judge has already made a decision without asking outside the presence of the jury to do so, so do not give it to me.”

The defense asked for a trial with prejudice due to the prosecution’s interrogation, and the judge said he would take it under guidance.

Prosecutors rested their case Tuesday after summoning 22 witnesses over six days. Their case was highlighted by testimony from an armed paramedic who was shot by Rittenhouse and a journalist who said the shot put him in danger.

Rittenhouse has pleaded not guilty to six charges, including first-degree premeditated murder, first-degree reckless murder and first-degree attempted premeditated murder. Judge Schroeder on Tuesday dismissed a charge of violating the curfew, saying prosecutors had not provided evidence to support it.

The charges stem from the chaotic unrest in the wake of Kenosha police shooting at Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old black man. The events of that night, almost all recorded on video, are hardly in doubt. The question for the jury is whether Rittenhouse’s actions were reasonable.

Rittenhouse lays out the night for the shootings

Kyle Rittenhouse, left, carried an AR-15 rifle in Kenosha, Wisconsin on August 25, 2020.

Rittenhouse, who now studies nursing at Arizona State University, testified that he lived in Antioch, Illinois, with his mother, and that his father lived in Kenosha. He said he entered Kenosha on August 25, 2020 with a rifle and a small medical kit and joined a group of armed men to protect a car dealer and provide first aid.

A man he identified as Rosenbaum, 36, twice threatened to kill Rittenhouse during the night, he testified. Later, Rittenhouse was separated from the other armed men, and Rosenbaum ran after him and threw a plastic bag at him. Rittenhouse testified that he believed at the time the object thrown was a chain.

Kyle Rittenhouse's trial has begun.  These are the 3 men he shot
During the chase, another man nearby, Joshua Ziminski, fired a shot into the air, police detectives testified earlier in the trial. Ziminski has separately pleaded not guilty to three charges related to that night.

Seconds after that shot, Rittenhouse turned and saw Rosenbaum coming towards him with his arms out in front. He then shot Rosenbaum four times and killed him.

At the cross-examination, he said he aimed the gun at Rosenbaum during the chase, even though he knew it was a dangerous thing to do.

“He was chasing me, I was alone, he was threatening to kill me earlier in the evening. I did not want to have to shoot him,” Rittenhouse testified. “I pointed at him because he kept running towards me and I did not want him to chase me.”

Rittenhouse then tried to run down the street to where the police were to report himself, he testified, but “a mob chased me.” As he ran, he became dizzy and fell to the ground, he said.

Prosecutors continue their case against Kyle Rittenhouse, and the judge dismisses the curfew

An unknown person ran towards him and tried to kick him, and Rittenhouse shot at the person twice. Anthony Huber, 26, then came towards him, hit him with a skateboard and grabbed his gun, he testified. Rittenhouse shot him once in the chest and killed him.

Eventually he saw Gaige Grosskreutz throw himself at him and point a gun at his head, so Rittenhouse shot him, he testified. Grosskreutz was wounded. Grosskreutz testified Monday before prosecutors, saying he never intentionally aimed his gun at Rittenhouse.

Much of the cross-examination centered on why Rittenhouse brought an AR-15-like rifle into an already unstable situation in Kenosha. Rittenhouse explained that he did it to protect himself, though he said he did not necessarily think he would be in danger.

“I brought the gun for my protection, but I did not think I should use the gun and end up defending myself,” he testified. He also said he did not think carrying a rifle would “cause a negative reaction” among the audience.


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