Kyle Rittenhouse, the armed Illinois teenager who killed two people and wounded another during protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, took the stand today to testify in his own defense in his trial on homicide charges.
Here's what happened today in court:
- Rittenhouse says he did nothing wrong: Rittenhouse defended his actions in Kenosha, in the wake of the protests related to the police shooting of Jacob Blake in August 2020, telling the court "I didn't do anything wrong. I defended myself." The teenager also said he didn't intend to kill anyone, but agreed he used "deadly force" that night.
- Emotional testimony: Rittenhouse broke down on the stand while describing the night of the shooting prompting the judge to call a 10-minute recess
- Rittenhouse says he was "ambushed": Rittenhouse testified that Joseph Rosenbaum, who he shot and killed, had threatened to kill him and said he "came out from behind the car and ambushed me" before the shooting. He said later in his testimony that he believed Rosenbaum "tried to take my gun," adding, "if he would have taken my gun he would've used it against me" and "killed me."
- No physical contact: Rittenhouse said that Rosenbaum had not physically touched him.
- Motion for a mistrial: Defense attorney Corey Chirafisi said in court this afternoon that the defense is making a motion for a mistrial with prejudice claiming the prosecutor, ADA Thomas Binger, committed "what amounts to prosecutorial overreach." The judge said he would take the motion under advisement.
- Judge admonishes the prosecutor: Twice during cross-examination, Schroeder asked the jury to leave the courtroom and then sharply admonished Binger for his line of questioning.