Six Key Moments That Shaped the Trial of Kyle Rittenhouse


Kyle Rittenhouse’s trial lasted two weeks and was attended by dozens of witnesses, photo evidence and video clips, as well as testimony from Rittenhouse himself, accused of premeditated and reckless murder and other crimes for the fatal shot in two people and the wound of a third. …

A jury in a courtroom in Kenosha, Wisconsin watched closely and took notes during the opening statements and eight days of testimony. Closing arguments are expected from both sides on Monday.

Here are six key points of the test:

The defendant speaks

Rittenhouse testified in his defense with his first detailed public account of the shooting. He answered questions from lawyers for several hours, looked mostly reserved, but burst into tears occasionally while his mother Wendy sobbed from the gallery in the courtroom.

He insisted that in August 2020, he was asked to go to Kenosha Center by the owner of Car Source, a company that suffered damage and arson during demonstrations following the police shooting of a Kenoshi resident. Rittenhouse told the jury that he feared for his life and acted in self-defense when he shot three people. Through cross-examination, Rittenhouse ran the risk that Joseph Rosenbaum, who had no weapons, posed when Rittenhouse shot him and killed him.

“If I let Mr. Rosenbaum take my firearm away from me, he would use it, kill me and probably kill more people,” Rittenhouse said.

Judge expresses disappointment

Judge Bruce Schroeder has a reputation for harsh sentencing, but is particularly outspoken about the rights of defendants during trial. This was especially evident during the trial of Rittenhouse, when Schroeder rebuked Attorney Thomas Binger for what the judge considered a violation of his orders.

“Are you a seasoned lawyer and you tell me that when the judge says, ‘I rule it out,’ you just take responsibility for putting it in because you think you found a way around it? Come on, ”Schroeder said.

The witness downplays the threat

Jason Lackowski, a former Marine who was among the armed men who arrived in Kenosha after seeing reports of destruction during two nights of civil unrest, testified as a prosecution witness, apparently refuting Rittenhouse’s claim that Rosenbaum is a deadly threat. Latskovsky told the court that Rosenbaum mocked him and a group of armed men like him, who said they decided to come to the area because they wanted to protect the local business.

“After he did this a few times, I turned my back on him and ignored him,” said Lackovsky, who called Rosenbaum a “chattering idiot.”

Close meeting certificate

Richie McGinniss, a videographer for the conservative website Daily Caller, was perhaps the closest witness to Rosenbaum’s shooting to testify at trial. McGinniss was following Rittenhouse and Rosenbaum when their pursuit began, and he was only a few feet away when Rittenhouse fired.

McGinniss is both a prosecution witness and named victim. One of the charges against Rittenhouse accuses him of a rash threat to McGinnis’ safety, who testified that he quickly checked to see if he was also injured.

But he also gave testimony, which damaged the prosecution’s account, stating that Rosenbaum first rushed at Rittenhouse and reached for the barrel of the pistol.

As the two sat in the backseat of an SUV as Rosenbaum died, McGinniss tried to calm him down, as he revealed.

“I was just telling him that then we’ll have a beer together and everything will be fine,” said a shocked McGinniss.

Lone survivor says

Gaige Grosskreutz, the lone survivor of the Kenosha shootout, was an important prosecution witness, testifying that he feared for his life when confronted with Rittenhouse. Grosskreutz, a 28-year-old medic, was wounded in the arm by Rittenhouse after running after him down the street. Grosskreutz testified that he ran in the direction of the fire, intending to help anyone injured by the shooting.

Grosskreutz with a pistol and Rittenhouse met face to face on the street just after Rittenhouse shot Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber.

“What were you thinking at this particular moment?” Attorney Binger asked in court.

“That I’m going to die,” said Grosskreutz.

During interrogation by the defense, Grosskreutz admitted that Rittenhouse fired after Grosskreutz approached him, a few feet away, with Grosskreutz’s pistol pointed towards Rittenhouse.

The officer expresses his point of view

Kenoshi Police Officer Pep Moretti spoke publicly for the first time about his role in the case and how the police responded on the night of the shooting. It follows from his testimony that he is partially to blame for not arresting Rittenhouse immediately after the shooting in the chaotic city streets. After Rittenhouse shot three people, he approached Moretti’s patrol car with his hands up in surrender, but the police ordered him to step out of the way and rushed down the street to help the victims and find the active shooter.

Moretti testified that he did not interpret Rittenhouse’s actions as an attempt to surrender. He said that during the days of protests and riots, many people in the crowd carried pistols and other weapons with them, and that it was not uncommon for someone to approach officers during riots with their hands up.

“There were probably more people armed with weapons during the entire period of civil unrest than there weren’t,” he said.

“So seeing someone with an AR-15 won’t necessarily mean a lot to you at that moment?” asked Attorney James Kraus.

“At that moment, that night, no,” Moretti said.


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