What did kyle rittenhouse do to be on trial breaks down, fake crying on stand

Kyle Rittenhouse Tells Jurors in His Homicide Trial, 'I Defended Myself.'

Mr. Rittenhouse testified for hours about two men who died and another who was shot during protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The judge and prosecutor exchanged heated exchanges on judicial procedure.

Kyle Rittenhouse sobbed and gasped for oxygen as he was questioned on the witness stand about the moments before he shot three men in the aftermath of demonstrations in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Mr. Rittenhouse stated that one of them pursued him forcefully into a parking lot. He stated that the man lunged at him.

"I recall his hand on the barrel of my revolver," he said at one point, following a judge-administered respite to allow Mr. Rittenhouse — whose mother was also weeping noisily from her row in the courtroom audience — to gather himself sufficiently to speak.

Mr. Rittenhouse, 18, appeared composed, confident, and occasionally perplexed for the majority of Wednesday as he faced hours of questioning from lawyers in his trial on six felony charges, including intentional and reckless homicide, reckless endangerment, and illegal possession of a firearm.

What did kyle rittenhouse do to be on trial breaks down, fake crying on stand
Kyle Rittenhouse stated that Joseph Rosenbaum had threatened him previous to Mr. Rittenhouse shooting and killing him on Aug. 25, 2020, in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Mr. Rittenhouse is accused with the shooting deaths of two individuals.

It was perhaps the most closely watched day of a contentious case: Mr. Rittenhouse, who had been largely silent for months, gave his first detailed, public account of what happened in downtown Kenosha on Aug. 25, 2020, as prosecutors raised pointed questions about his credibility and why he had entered the scene at all.

The testimony took place in the midst of scuffles and yelling in the courtroom. The judge and the prosecutor, Thomas Binger, had an acrimonious exchange on judicial procedure. And Mr. Rittenhouse's defense team requested a mistrial without the option of a retrial, raising the idea that Mr. Binger is willfully destroying his own case in order to avoid an acquittal.

Mr. Binger was reprimanded by Judge Bruce Schroeder of Kenosha County Circuit Court for what the judge perceived to be violations of his orders regarding what information could be heard by the jury, and when Mr. Binger insisted that he had acted in good faith, Judge Schroeder angrily responded, "I don't believe you."

The trial begins more than 14 months after Kenosha was rocked by protests, riots, and arson in the aftermath of a white police officer's shooting of a Black man, Jacob Blake. Mr. Rittenhouse, who was 17 at the time and lived in Antioch, Ill., joined other armed people in coming downtown during the protests on the third night, claiming they intended to assist protect property.

Mr. Rittenhouse has sat close to his counsel for the first week of the trial, yawning, fidgeting, and watching the jurors and witnesses intently. The prosecution has regularly shown horrific photos of the individuals Mr. Rittenhouse shot and killed: an autopsy photo of Anthony Huber with a visible gunshot hole to his chest and close-up video recordings of Joseph Rosenbaum struggling to breathe on the pavement shortly after being shot. Mr. Rittenhouse has shifted his gaze lower to his lap during those moments, away from the television set adjacent to the jury box.

Judge Bruce Schroeder chastised prosecutor Thomas Binger multiple times for his course of questioning.
Judge Bruce Schroeder chastised prosecutor Thomas Binger multiple times for his course of questioning.

The hearing took place in an opulent courtroom at the downtown Kenosha courthouse, which was also the site of last year's demonstrations. Numerous jurors scribbled notes on clipboards and notebooks throughout Mr. Rittenhouse's evidence; Wendy Rittenhouse, his mother, stood in the gallery with her auburn hair pushed back, leaning forward intently to see her son speak and occasionally crying along with him.

The streets outside the courtroom have remained relatively calm throughout the trial, however several demonstrators, including Justin Blake, Jacob Blake's uncle, stood on the steps on Wednesday.

Mr. Rittenhouse made no argument about the case's fundamental facts: He shot and killed two individuals, Mr. Rosenbaum and Mr. Huber, and wounded a third, Gaige Grosskreutz, earlier that year with a military-style semiautomatic rifle purchased on his behalf by a buddy, Dominick Black.

On Wednesday morning, Mr. Rittenhouse was called to the stand by Mark Richards, his attorney, prompting Judge Schroeder to dismiss the jury and advise Mr. Rittenhouse of his right not to testify in his own defense. While taking the stand can be perilous for any defendant, Mr. Rittenhouse's defense team has signaled that he will testify since opening comments.

Mr. Rittenhouse testified that he drove to Kenosha after witnessing the destruction, fire, and graffiti that had defined the city for two days following Mr. Blake's shooting. He had some ties to the community: a new job as a lifeguard in Kenosha County and friends and family who resided there.

Mr. Rittenhouse, dressed in a navy suit and tie, stated that he had removed graffiti on the wall of a local high school and joined Mr. Black in defending a business, Car Source, following a request for assistance from its owners.

He reported walking through Kenosha with his rifle as demonstrators set fire to the streets and the night grew increasingly tense. He said that he assisted individuals suffering from minor medical issues, including a woman whose ankle he bandaged. He also stated that he assisted in extinguishing a fire behind a church.

And he discussed his initial meetings with Mr. Rosenbaum, 36, one of the men he would ultimately murder.

"Mr. Rosenbaum was strolling with a steel chain around his neck and wore a blue mask over his face," Mr. Rittenhouse explained, adding that Mr. Rosenbaum screamed that he would kill Mr. Rittenhouse if he caught him alone.

Prior to his testimony, Mr. Rittenhouse listened to one of his attorneys, Mark Richards.
Prior to his testimony, Mr. Rittenhouse listened to one of his attorneys, Mark Richards.

Despite the difficult circumstances, Mr. Rittenhouse said he continued to stroll through the crowd, asking demonstrators — many of whom had been tear-gassed or had minor scrapes and injuries that evening — whether they required medical assistance.

"When I hear someone yell, 'Burn in hell,' I respond with, 'Friendly, friendly, friendly,' to let them know I'm here to assist," he explained. "I'm not looking for trouble. I only wish to extinguish any fires that may exist."

When Mr. Rittenhouse was pursued near midnight by Mr. Rosenbaum and later by other members of the crowd who believed he was an active shooter, he opened fire to put an end to what he described as a dangerous threat.

"I did nothing wrong," Mr. Rittenhouse stated, attempting to justify why he had shot his revolver eight times. "I stood up for myself."

Mr. Rittenhouse was peppered with questions about why he had come to downtown Kenosha in the first place — carrying a weapon and inserting himself into a highly volatile situation with a group that was unlikely to appreciate his presence — during a lengthy cross-examination that lasted several hours.

The prosecution, Mr. Binger, suggested that Mr. Rittenhouse was the one who caused the threat. He questioned Mr. Rittenhouse about his decision to carry a gun that he was legally unable to obtain in Wisconsin as a minor at the time. He enquired as to why Mr. Rittenhouse had decided to defend a used-car firm with which he had no involvement. And he grilled him on his decision to attend a tense assembly of demonstrators after curfew in Kenosha, a community he did not call home.

Mr. Rittenhouse identified individuals in an image taken the night of the shootings.
Mr. Rittenhouse identified individuals in an image taken the night of the shootings.

Mr. Binger cast doubt on Mr. Rittenhouse's reliability, noting that he had lied about his medical credentials while patrolling the streets of Kenosha.

Mr. Rittenhouse was shown in a video footage played in court telling Richie McGinniss, a videographer for the conservative website The Daily Caller, that he was an emergency medical technician.

"You did tell him the truth, correct?" According to Mr. Binger.

"I pretended to be an E.M.T., but I was not," Mr. Rittenhouse explained.

Later, Mr. Binger focused on the reasonableness of Mr. Rittenhouse's self-defense case and on the risk posed by Mr. Rosenbaum, who was not armed, when Mr. Rittenhouse fired and killed him.

"Had I allowed Mr. Rosenbaum to take my pistol, he would have used it to murder me and perhaps other people," Mr. Rittenhouse stated.

Mr. Rittenhouse struggled to articulate why he had his revolver with him as he sprinted into a car lot with a fire extinguisher, an incident that occurred just before he shot Mr. Rosenbaum. Prosecutors questioned Mr. Rittenhouse's judgment to carry the weapon at all, given that his stated reason for coming on the scene was to provide medical attention and protect property.

"I carried the gun for my own security," Mr. Rittenhouse explained, adding that he did not anticipate needing to use it.