Rittenhouse murder case jeopardized by wrong attempt – Denver Post

Written by Michael Trum, Scott Bauer and Kathleen Foddy

KENOSHA, Wes (AFP) – The murder case against Kyle Rittenhouse was jeopardized Wednesday when his lawyers requested a wrongful trial over what appeared to be off-limits questions the attorney general put to Rittenhouse. The judge did not immediately rule on the request.

The astonishing turn came after Rittenhouse, in a high-stakes gamble, testified that he was attacked when he shot three men, two of them fatal, during a night of turbulent protests against racial injustice in Kenosha in the summer of 2020.

“I did nothing wrong. I stood up for myself,” the 18-year-old said.

In an account largely corroborated by the video and prosecution witnesses, Rittenhouse said the first man cornered him and put his hand on his rifle, the second man hit him with a skateboard, and the third man came toward him with his pistol. King.

During questioning, Attorney General Thomas Binger asked Rittenhouse whether it was appropriate to use lethal force to protect property. The attorney general also asked questions about Rittenhouse’s silence after his arrest.

At the time, the jury walked out of the room, and Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder loudly and furiously accused Binger of following an improper line of cross-examination and attempting to give testimony that the judge earlier said he was tempted to block.

Rittenhouse’s attorney, Cory Shiravassi, all the prosecutors may be willfully trying to cause a wrongful trial because this attorney is “going badly” for the prosecution and wants to bypass it. The defense requested a trial error, meaning that if granted, Rittenhouse could not be retried.

When Binger said he acted in good faith, the judge replied, “I don’t believe it.”

Rittenhouse is on trial for a shooting committed during the sometimes violent protests that erupted in Kenosha over the wounding 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 AR semi-automatic weapon and a medical bag in what the young former police student said was an effort to protect property after rioters set fires and looted businesses the previous nights.

He testified that he shot Joseph Rosenbaum after Rosenbaum chased after him and put his hand on the barrel of his Rittenhouse rifle. He said he shot and killed Anthony Hopper after Hopper hit him in the neck with a skateboard and grabbed his gun.

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,” Rittenhouse said.

During his role as a witness, Rittenhouse cried so hard at one point that the judge pronounced the break. But other than that, he was an author on the podium, even as he was aggressively questioned.

The case against Rittenhouse divided Americans over whether he was a patriot taking a stand against lawlessness or aptitude. Prosecutors portrayed him as the instigator that night, while the defense said he feared for his life, afraid that his gun would be taken away and used against him.

Rittenhouse’s decision to testify carries some risks – including the possibility of fierce questioning by prosecutors – and came despite some legal experts’ skepticism about the value of his standing on the podium, given the apparent weaknesses in the state’s case.

Some prosecution witnesses corroborated the young man’s claim of self-defense.

When he began to cry on the podium and seemed unable to speak, his mother, Wendy Rittenhouse, was on a bench across the courtroom, crying out loud. Someone next to her put an arm around her. After the judge called for a break, the jurors walked past Rittenhouse and looked on as he continued to cry.

Much of the testimony on Wednesday centered on the first shooting of the night, as it was Rosenbaum’s death that led to 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 shouting, “Burn in Hell!” He said he responded by saying, “Friendly, friendly, friendly!”

Rosenbaum was running toward him from one side, he said, and in front of him was another protester with a gun, “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 forward. “I remember his hand on the barrel of my gun,” Rittenhouse said.

The defendant recounted: “I shot him.” He also said he believed that the object Rosenbaum threw during the chase – a plastic hospital bag – was a chain he had seen Rosenbaum carry earlier.

Rittenhouse said he had intended to help the wounded man 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.

Asked by his attorney why he didn’t keep running away from Rosenbaum, Rittenhouse 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. Rittenhouse apologized to the court for his language, and quoted Rosenbaum as saying, “I’ll cut your hearts out (expletive)!”

When he first took the stage, his attorney asked Rittenhouse if he had come to Kenosha looking for trouble, to which he replied no.

He testified that he had seen videos of violence in downtown Kenosha the day before the shooting, including a brick thrown in the head of a police officer and cars burning at a car dealership at Car Source.

Rittenhouse said the owner of Car Source “was glad we were there” that night.

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This story has been corrected to show that it was the defense attorney, not the judge, who indicated that the attorney general was trying to cause a wrongful trial.

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

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

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