Kyle Rittenhouse’s defense to seek mistrial in murder case

On Wednesday, attorneys for Kyle Rittenhouse, now 18-years old, asked the judge for a mistrial in his murder trial over questions posed by the chief prosecutor.

While the judge did not immediately rule on the request, he had previously rebuked the prosecutor in the courtroom.

Rittenhouse, who was 17-years-old on the day of the incident, was called to testify by his own lawyers regarding his actions on August 25, 2020. On that day, he shot three men, wounding one and killing two, as protestors filled the streets of Kenosha, Wisconsin following the shooting of Jacob Blake, a black man, by a police officer.

“I didn’t do anything wrong. I defended myself,” Rittenhouse said during his testimony. Some legal experts warned that putting Rittenhouse on the stand would risk exposing him to cross-examination, and lead prosecutor Thomas Binger took advantage of that. 

Binger’s questioning, however, led Judge Bruce Schroeder to accuse him of pursuing an improper line of questioning as well as trying to introduce testimony that the judge earlier said he was inclined to prohibit.

Binger had asked Rittenhouse about the appropriateness of using deadly force to protect property; he also questioned Rittenhouse’s silence following his arrest.

Rittenhouse testified that Joseph Rosenbaum had chased him and put his hand on the barrel of Rittenhouse’s rifle before Rosenbaum was fatally shot. He said he also shot and killed Anthony Huber after Huber grabbed his gun following striking him in the neck with his skateboard.

According to Rittenhouse, the third man, Gaige Grosskreutz, “lunge[d] at me with his pistol pointed directly at my head.” Grosskreutz was also shot by Rittenhouse, but he was only wounded on the arm. The defense has asked for a mistrial with prejudice; if the request is granted, Rittenhouse will not be able to be tried again for those shootings.

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