Kyle Rittenhouse, 18, is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing on Friday in the fatal shooting of Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, and injury of Gaige Grosskreutz, 27. The hearing will focus on evidentiary issues. Chief among those issues is a prosecution request for jurors to be allowed to watch a video that allegedly shows Rittenhouse discussing his desire to shoot a Black man with his “AR”.
Kenosha County Judge Bruce Schroeder will also consider a request by the prosecution to bar the defense’s alleged “use-of-force expert” John R. Black from testifying during trial.
There will also be rulings on several key requests by the defense–including whether to bar evidence that Rittenhouse allegedly hit a woman in July 2020 who was involved in an altercation with his sister. Another high-profile evidentiary request from the defense is whether or not jurors can be told the defendant went to a bar with the far-right Proud Boys street gang in January after he was charged while wearing a shirt that read: “Free as Fuck.”
Court is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. CT / 11:00 a.m ET. You can watch in the player above.
The case is a conservative cause célèbre. As seen on video, Rittenhouse, then 17, opened fire in a nighttime confrontation with protesters amid the police shooting of local man Jacob Blake.
A crowd chases a suspected shooter down in Kenosha. He trips and falls, then turns with the gun and fires several times. Shots can be heard fired elsewhere as well, corroborating reports of multiple shooters tonight #Kenosha #KenoshaRiots pic.twitter.com/qqsYWmngFW
— Brendan Gutenschwager (@BGOnTheScene) August 26, 2020
[Warning: Video is disturbing.]
The defendant maintains he was protecting himself. His actions, prosecutors said, were illegal. Rittenhouse was charged with multiple counts including first-degree reckless homicide and first-degree intentional homicide. The accused teenager–an Illinois resident who said he was in Wisconsin for lifeguard work and showed up to the scene with a rifle–and other armed conservatives have been criticized by prosecutors and commentators alike, accused of looking for trouble at the Blake protests. Rittenhouse, additionally, was too allegedly young to buy the firearm or possess it under Wisconsin law.
“I feel I had to protect myself,” he told The Washington Post in an interview last year. “I would have died that night if I didn’t.”
Jury selection is scheduled to begin November 1.
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