Written by Michael Trum, Scott Bauer and Kathleen Foddy
KENOSHA, WES (AFP) – The judge in the Kyle Rittenhouse murder case expelled the jury from the courtroom and reprimanded the attorney general for questioning Rittenhouse about whether he used lethal force to protect property.
Judge Bruce Schroeder sharply indicted Attorney General Thomas Binger on Wednesday of attempting to improperly provide testimony that he previously said was inclined to ban it.
The judge accused Binger of trying to foment a wrongful trial in the case with his cross-examination line.
This is an urgent news update. The previous story for the Associated Press follows below.
KENOSHA, Wisconsin (AFP) – Kyle Rittenhouse sobbed so hard at one point that a judge rested, and said he was attacked when he shot three men during a night of turbulent protests in Kenosha.
“I didn’t do anything wrong. I stood up for myself,” he said.
18-year-old Rittenhouse is on trial for killing two men and injuring a third during a chaotic summer 2020 demonstration that was triggered by the injury of a black man by a white Kenosha police officer.
He could be imprisoned for life if convicted of the most serious charges.
Rittenhouse, who was 17 at the time, went to Kenosha with an AK semi-automatic weapon and a medical bag in what he said was an effort to protect property from rioters who had set fires and looted businesses the previous two nights.
Rittenhouse said he shot Joseph Rosenbaum after Rosenbaum chased after him and put his hand on the barrel of Rittenhouse’s rifle. He then shot and killed Anthony Hopper, and testified that he opened fire after Hopper hit him in the neck with a skateboard and grabbed his rifle.
When a third man, Gaige Grosskreutz, “rushed at me with his pistol aimed straight at my head,” Rittenhouse also shot him, injuring him.
“I didn’t intend to kill them, I intended to stop people attacking me,” said Rittenhouse.
Much of the testimony centered on the first shooting of the night, as Rosenbaum’s death was what led to the bloodshed that followed.
Rittenhouse said he was walking toward a car source with a fire extinguisher to put out a fire when “I heard someone screaming, ‘Burn in hell!'” And I answer with “Friendly, friendly, friendly!”
Rosenbaum was running toward him from one side and another protester with a gun in front of him, he said, “and I got trapped.” He said this when he started running.
Another protester, Joshua Ziminsky, told Rosenbaum, “Get him and kill him.”
Rittenhouse said he heard a gunshot right behind him, and when he turned, Rosenbaum was approaching him with his arms in front of him. “I remember his hand on the barrel of my gun,” Rittenhouse said.
He said: “I shot him.” He also said he believed the object Rosenbaum threw during the chase – a plastic hospital bag – was the chain he had seen Rosenbaum carry earlier.
Rittenhouse said he intended to help Rosenbaum but was shocked that someone else came to him. Rittenhouse said he thought the “safer option” was to turn himself in to the police who were nearby.
When defense attorney Mark Richards asked Rittenhouse why he didn’t keep running from Rosenbaum, he said, “There was nowhere for me to keep running to him.”
Rittenhouse said that earlier that night, Rosenbaum had been carrying a chain and had twice threatened to kill him.
Apologizing to the court for his language, Rittenhouse said Rosenbaum was walking down the street with chain and shouted, “If I catch any of you (expletive) alone I will kill you (expletive)!”
Later that night, testifying, Rosenbaum said, “I’m going to cut your hearts out (expletive)! Rittenhouse said Rosenbaum also called them ‘n words.'” But he said he didn’t want to repeat the word in court.
When he first took the stage, Rittenhouse replied in the negative when his attorney asked him if he had come to Kenosha for trouble.
Rittenhouse testified that he had seen videos of violence in downtown Kenosha on August 24, 2020, the day before the shooting, including throwing a brick in the head of a police officer and burning cars at a car dealership.
Rittenhouse said the owner of Car Source “were happy to be there.”
Rittenhouse’s decision to testify came even though several legal experts said the prosecution’s disappointing case made it unlikely he would need to do so.
Prosecutors used five and a half days of testimony to attempt to portray Rittenhouse as the assailant on the night of the shooting. But prosecution witnesses frequently corroborated the young man’s claim of self-defense, including his fear that his weapon would be taken off and used against him.
The jurors were dispatched from the chamber before Rittenhouse began to testify while the judge explained his right to remain silent and the potential dangers of testifying, Rittenhouse repeatedly answered that he understood.
When the jurors returned to the room, they were presented by Rittenhouse on the podium. When Rittenhouse began answering questions, some of the jurors seemed to take extensive notes on their plates.
Bauer reported from Madison, Wisconsin; Foody from Chicago. Associated Press contributing writer Tammy Webber of Fenton, Michigan.
Find AP’s full coverage of the Kyle Rittenhouse trial at: https://apnews.com/hub/kyle-rittenhouse