The Kyle Rittenhouse homicide trial is coming to an end. Closing arguments are scheduled for Monday. Rittenhouse (18) is charged with killing two people and injuring another in Kenosha in Wisconsin in summer 2020.
Rittenhouse and his legal team claim that he acted self-defense. However, the prosecution has portrayed Rittenhouse as the aggressor. In this case, it will be up to the prosecution to prove that the shooting wasn’t justified.
The trial heated up when Rittenhouse appearedIn his own defense. Rittenhouse broke down when his lawyers asked him why he had fatally shot the first victim. He later stated to the court, “I didn’t do any wrong, I was defending my self.”
Rittenhouse was wounded and shot by police in protests at Kenosha, August 25, 2020. Rittenhouse traveled to Kenosha that night.. Rittenhouse, armed with an AR-15 style rifle and a gun, shot three men. Rittenhouse killed two and wounded one. The teenager was able escape the city and return to Illinois. He was arrested on August 31st and was later extradited to Wisconsin.
Who is Kyle Rittenhouse
Rittenhouse, then 17 at the time, was the subject of the shooting. He was born in Antioch, Illinois and traveled to Kenosha on August 25, 2020, to visit his father. He testified that he traveled to the city that night in order to provide first aid and protection to local businesses.
Rittenhouse informed jurors that he is now studying nursing in Arizona State University. The school clarified that Rittenhouse was enrolled in online classes, but has not been admitted into the university’s nursing school.
He also claimed that he was a Kenosha lifeguard and that he was a part of an EMT cadet programme where he learned CPR as well as basic first aid. At trial, he admitted to falsely claiming that he was an EMT certification on the night of the shooting.
According to Rittenhouse’s attorney, Rittenhouse suffered PTSD from the shooting and is currently in therapy.
Who are the victims?
Rittenhouse shot 36-year-old Joseph Rosenbaum. The teen claims Rosenbaum chased him and grabbed his firearm — before Rittenhouse shot him four times. He had never touched Rittenhouse. Rosenbaum, who was homeless, suffered from bipolar disorder and was released from a hospital just days after attempting suicide, is said to have been released from the hospital. According to the report, Rosenbaum spent many years in prison for having sexual contact with a minor.
Rittenhouse shot Anthony Huber, 26 years old, in the chest. According to an obituary, he was a Kenosha native and died four days after turning 26. Rittenhouse claims Huber punched him in the face with his skateboard and then struck him in the head. Huber was allegedly trying to reach for his weapon when the teen shot him.
Gaige Grosskreutz (27), was the only survivor of the shootings. Rittenhouse shot Grosskreutz right in the arm just moments after Huber died. Grosskreutz claims that he lost 90% his bicep. He admitted at trial that he believed he was going crazy and would die. Rittenhouse stated that he reacted to seeing the gun. Grosskreutz explained to him that he pulled the gun out because Rittenhouse was an “active shooter”.
What are the charges?
Count 1 – First-degree reckless killing, use a dangerous weapon
Count 2: First-degree recklessly putting safety at risk, use of a dangerous weapons
Count 3 – First-degree intentional murder, use a dangerous weapon
Count 4: First-degree intentional murder, use of a deadly weapon
Count 5: First-degree recklessly putting safety at risk, use of a dangerous weapons
Count 6: Possession by a minor of a dangerous weapon
Rittenhouse could be convicted of the murder charge..
After a motion by defense, Kenosha County Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder dismissed Rittenhouse’s curfew violations charge.
What was captured on film?
Each shooting was captured on film. The civil unrest that occurred in Kenosha was well documented, and digital media including footage has helped Rittenhouse’s defence team and investigators create a timeline of events for their jury.
Video of the shootings by witnesses and videographers played an important role in the government’s case. This included an FBI infrared camera from a surveillance plane almost 9,000 feet above the spot Rittenhouse shot Rosenbaum.
Other videos show Rittenhouse fleeing after shooting Rosenbaum. A crowd of people chase him, some yelling “Beat that guy up,” “Hey! He shot him!” and “Get him!” Get that dude!
Rittenhouse claimed that he fell to his death after he tripped prior to the second shoot. Video shows him lying on the street. Huber attempted taking his gun but Rittenhouse shot and killed Rittenhouse. Cellphone video shows Rittenhouse moving away from the scene and towards police cars, his hands raised.
Rittenhouse shot Gaige grosskreutz, a third victim, in the arm shortly afterwards. Grosskreutz was holding an assault rifle at the time of his shooting. Rittenhouse’s lawyers claim that he acted in self defense.
Rittenhouse was portrayed by the prosecution as the aggressor.
The prosecution tried to discredit his defense by asking why a teenager with an AR-15-style rifle illegally owned would feel his life was in danger. Thomas Binger, the main prosecutor, attempted to portray Rittenhouse as an armed threat by citing witness accounts that the teen raised his gun towards others throughout the night.
“You are telling us that you felt like your body was about to die. But pointing a gun at someone else will make them feel like they are about to die. “That’s what you wanted him feel,” Binger stated.
Rittenhouse, who was distraught and on the brink of tears, claimed that one of the victims could have fled instead of trying to steal his gun.
After Rosenbaum had followed Rittenhouse at close range, the teen was captured by drone video. This footage showed the most detailed images of the events that set off the bloodshed that ensued.
Prosecutors called Dominick BLACK, a friend of Rittenhouse who is facing his own trial for purchasing the AR-15 style rifle that he was not legally permitted to own, as a witness. He testified Rittenhouse called him after the first shooting and said “I shot somebody, i shot somebody.” He described Rittenhouse to him as “freaking it” and “really afraid.”
However, some witnesses from the government might have been more helpful than they thought to the defense strategy. Martin Howard, a Kenosha officer detective, testified Rittenhouse shouted “Friendly!” Friendly! Friendly!” Rosenbaum was following him, and he agreed with the defense’s description that their encounter appeared to be “the classic ambush.”
Prosecutors stated that footage from the shootings would play an important role in their closing arguments.
His attorneys claim the shootings were in self defense.
Defense claims Rittenhouse acted in self defense. In an effort to support Rittenhouse’s claim that he felt threatened, they had witnesses who retraced the events. Another witness was also present that night and referred specifically to those protesting police brutality in violence as “violent Rioters” and “Antifa.”
Over two and half days, defense called many witnesses, including Rittenhouse, who was allowed to share his side of the story.
Rittenhouse described the moments leading up to his interaction with Joseph Rosenbaum, the first man he shot and killed, and depicted Rosenbaum as the aggressor who ambushed himThe defense claims Rosenbaum made verbal threats against Rittenhouse’s life —an accusation the state disputes, saying he “had no means to carry out his threat.”
Rittenhouse claimed that Rosenbaum was not aware of him until he ran away from behind his car. Joshua Ziminski, who was later charged for disorderly conduct, walked up to Rittenhouse, holding a gun in his hand. Rittenhouse then took a step back, and dropped the fire extinguisher. Rittenhouse claimed that he saw Rosenbaum running on the right side and that he was “cornered”.
Rittenhouse said that he felt the need to flee Rosenbaum after he saw him “gaining speed” with his arms out in Rittenhouse’s direction. Rittenhouse said, “I didn’t want to have Mr. Rosenbaum killed.” When Rittenhouse was asked why he kept firing after the first shot, Rittenhouse replied, “I continued shooting until he was no threat to me.”
Rittenhouse claimed he wanted police to take him in, but a mob started chasing him.
Rittenhouse was running when he encountered Huber. Huber said that he struck Rittenhouse in the back with his skateboard. Rittenhouse stated that after falling to the ground, a group of people surround him and he pointed his pistol at them. Huber refused to back down, Rittenhouse claims Huber kicked Rittenhouse in the face and then hit him with his skateboard. Rittenhouse claimed Hubert reached out for his weapon as he fired one bullet into his chest.
The teen stated that he then lowered his weapon to see Grosskreutz. He said that he noticed Grosskreutz was holding a gun in his hand, and shot him once in each arm.
Monday will be the last day for closing arguments. Before deliberations start, lawyers on both sides will have two and a quarter hours to present their arguments before closing arguments begin.
Source: CBS News