Friday was a cruel day for the family of Anthony Huber, 26. Not only did Kyle Rittenhouse, 18, get acquitted for fatally shooting him, but it happened on the birthday of Huber’s mother, said a family member.
“That’s a particularly hard blow,” his great-aunt Susan Hughes told Weekend TODAY in a Saturday report.
Armed with a AR-15 rifle, Rittenhouse shot and killed Huber, Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and injured Gaige Grosskreutz, 27, amid spiraling protests over a Kensoha, Wisconsin, police officer shooting local man Jacob Blake, who is Black.
An Illinois native who has said he was in the area for lifeguard work, Rittenhouse was ostensibly in town to help protect private property from what his defense described as rioters. They maintained at trial that Rosenbaum ambushed the young man, who killed him in self-defense and fled from the scene. Nearby people, including Huber and Grosskreutz, attacked Rittenhouse without understanding what really went on, the defense said. Rittenhouse broke down in court during his testimony and on hearing the acquittal, and his defense has said he lives with post-traumatic stress disorder.
The prosecution, however, commended Huber and Grosskreutz for bravery, saying the men tried to take down who they believed to be an active shooter. The state argued that Rittenhouse, motivated by a dangerous sense of self-aggrandizement, was looking for trouble and found it that night.
Both sides delivered their closing arguments throughout Monday, and jurors only delivered their verdict on all five counts on Friday. Hughes said that she believed jurors made their “best efforts.”
“I think the fact that it took four days perhaps gives us some encouragement that at least it was a difficult decision to reach,” she said.
Hughes voiced frustration with how Huber and others were talked about inside and outside of court.
“None of them deserve the treatment they’ve received on the wild web, and frankly from some of the national media, who have different political views,” she said. “I want Anthony to be remembered as a person who really was just trying to get on with his life after some early difficult years, and was making real, real progress in that regard.”
Judge Bruce Schroeder rejected the prosecution’s request to call the men Rittenhouse shot “victims,” but allowed words like “rioters,” “looters,” and “arsonists.” He argued the word “victims” was prejudicial against the defendant.
“Is it so difficult to just use the term ‘complaining witness,’ instead of prejudging what the jury is here to determine as to whether there is a victim and whether there is a crime committed?” he said.
[Screenshot via Weekend TODAY]
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