The defense rested its case Thursday in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, a teenager who faces charges that he killed Anthony Huber and Joseph Rosenbaum and wounded Gaige Grosskreutz using an AR-15-style rifle during protests last summer following the police shooting of Jacob Blake.
The scene in court Thursday was tamer compared to yesterday.
Judge Bruce Schroeder asked the jury twice on Wednesday to leave the room before sharply admonishing prosecutor Thomas Binger for his line of questioning.
The first incident related to questions about Rittenhouse's post-arrest silence, and the second was about an incident two weeks before the shootings that the judge said would not be permitted into evidence.
Here's what happened in court Thursday:
- Defense calls witnesses: First on the stand first on the eighth day of testimony was use-of-force expert John Black, who testified that less than three seconds passed between the time a protester fired a shot and Rittenhouse opened fire with his rifle in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last year. Brittni Bray, a Kenosha police officer, testified about collecting shell casings the night of the deadly shooting.
- Videographer takes the stand: Drew Hernandez, who shot video of the protests, testified that Rittenhouse tried to deescalate tensions at times the night of the shooting. He told the jury the first person to be shot was acting "physically aggressive" even before his encounter with Rittenhouse. Rittenhouse testified most of the day Wednesday and said that he acted in self-defense when he used an AR-15-style rifle to fatally shoot a man who had threatened him, threw a plastic bag at him and chased him. "I didn't do anything wrong. I defended myself," he testified.
- Revisiting Wednesday's heated exchanges: Yesterday’s heated exchange between Schroeder and Binger came up Thursday with the prosecutor saying, “yesterday, as I said, I was under the court’s ire” and Schroeder cutting him off saying, “you know, I don’t want to talk about” it. “I think it's a fundamental fairness issue, your honor, if I'm being held to obey the court's orders, I'm asking that the defense be held to that too,” Binger persisted. “I was talking yesterday about the Constitution of the United States and how the Supreme Court has interpreted it for 50 years. That’s not what we are talking about here today,” the judge replied.
- Closing arguments: The defense rested their case earlier Thursday afternoon. During eight days of testimony in the trial, jurors heard from 31 different witnesses. Schroeder told jurors that closing arguments and jury instructions in the trial are expected Monday. Each side will have 2.5 hours total for their closing arguments.