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Kyle Rittenhouse appears pale and nervous on Day 3 of murder trial


Kyle Rittenhouse averted his eyes as harrowing scenes of Joseph Rosembaum taking his final breaths were played in Kenosha County Courthouse Wednesday afternoon.

Bystanders crowded Rosenbaum who groaned in a protracted death rattle in the moments after he was shot four times by Rittenhouse who had fled the scene.

Moments earlier, the court had watched further livestream footage from the night of August 25, 2020, in which Rittenhouse could be seen being chased by Rosenbaum, while Daily Caller reporter Richie McGinness followed on. McGinness was so close to the shooting Rittenhouse has been charged with reckless endangerment.

Rittenhouse sat before a monitor and watched those scenes, wiggling his pen rapidly. His discomfort during the barrage of video evidence entered after lunch was clear. 

Looking back at the screen for a period of time Rittenhouse appeared emotional. At one point he put his hand to his cheek and wiped his eye. 

Kyle Rittenhouse averted his eyes as harrowing scenes of Joseph Rosembaum taking his final breaths were played in Kenosha County Courthouse Wednesday afternoon

Looking back at the screen for a period of time Rittenhouse appeared emotional. At one point he put his hand to his cheek and wiped his eye

Looking back at the screen for a period of time Rittenhouse appeared emotional. At one point he put his hand to his cheek and wiped his eye

Rittenhouse fatally shot Joseph Rosenbaum (pictured), 36, with an AR-15-style semiautomatic rifle after Rosenbaum chased Rittenhouse across a parking lot and threw a plastic bag at him shortly before midnight on August 25, 2020

Rittenhouse fatally shot Joseph Rosenbaum (pictured), 36, with an AR-15-style semiautomatic rifle after Rosenbaum chased Rittenhouse across a parking lot and threw a plastic bag at him shortly before midnight on August 25, 2020

Rittenhouse sat before a monitor and watched those scenes, wiggling his pen rapidly. His discomfort during the barrage of video evidence entered after lunch was clear

 Rittenhouse sat before a monitor and watched those scenes, wiggling his pen rapidly. His discomfort during the barrage of video evidence entered after lunch was clear 

In the immediate aftermath of the shooting as the narrator shouts, ‘He shot him! He shot him!’ McGinness is filmed taking off his shirt and attempting to stem Rosenbaum’s bleeding. Meanwhile Rittenhouse, who had earlier walked the streets declaring himself a medic stands dumbly by, before turning and fleeing the scene, leaving others to call for medics.

In other chaotic footage the panicked crowd can be seen carrying the shirtless, dying man to a nearby vehicle and loading him into back in a bid to get him to medics.

Members of the jury were visibly disturbed as more footage showed Rittenhouse on the ground shooting up first at Anthony Huber then at Gaige Grosskreutz who was filmed howling in pain, screaming for a medic, having been shot in the arm.

Jurors at the Kenosha shooter's trial have heard jolting audio of the first four shots fired by Kyle Rittenhouse on the night of August 25, 2020

Jurors at the Kenosha shooter’s trial have heard jolting audio of the first four shots fired by Kyle Rittenhouse on the night of August 25, 2020

In scenes of violent confusion a man can be heard screaming, ‘People are getting shot everywhere!’ as Rittenhouse is seen, pointing his gun and walking away from the scene.

Under direct examination Detective Martin Howard, recounted how he had chronicled Rittenhouse’s injuries when he saw him in the early hours of August 26, at Antioch Illinois, police station.

Detective Howard recalled that Rittenhouse had a scratch above his left eyebrow, a cut on his lower lip, some redness on his chest and near his belly button, redness on the tip of one thumb, a scratch on his back and two lumps, ‘the size of a penny’ on the back of his head behind his left ear, not visible through his thick hair but clear to the touch.

Defense attorney Richards returned to this theme during cross examination and neatly converted it to his cause, saying, ‘I guess what the state is getting at is the injuries weren’t serious he shouldn’t have shot.’

He continued, ‘When you’re getting hit in the head you don’t know what’s going to happen do you? When somebody’s hitting you again with their skateboard you don’t know. When somebody puts their bare hand on your firearm you don’t know if that person is going to get your gun, turn it and use it on you.’

He concluded, ‘Sir if a weapon is taken from somebody it could be used against them as a deadly, dangerous weapon. Correct?’

Detective Howard agreed, ‘Correct.’ 

Day three of the high-profile trial began with witness Koerri Elijah Washington back on the stand to complete testimony he began Tuesday afternoon

Day three of the high-profile trial began with witness Koerri Elijah Washington back on the stand to complete testimony he began Tuesday afternoon

Richards replayed FBI surveillance footage that tracked body-heat and had already been played by the state. In it Rosenbaum and Rittenhouse can be seen, from a distance of 9000 feet, as two white blobs – Rittenhouse marked as person of interest 1, Rosenbaum as person of interest 2.

Rosenbaum can be seen walking parallel to Rittenhouse then disappearing between parked vehicles before he emerges behind Rittenhouse in apparent pursuit.

‘Correct me if I’m wrong,’ Richards said, ‘But this looks like the perfect ambush.’

Richards highlighted the fact that the first shot of the night was not fired by Rittenhouse but by a man called Joshua Ziminski who was about 30 feet behind Rittenhouse when he fired one shot. Rittenhouse fired off four rounds seconds later.

And the defense circled back to some of the footage that had shocked jurors earlier, pointing to the bangs of bats being smashed against cars and pausing at a point where the words, ‘Friendly! Friendly! Friendly!’ can clearly be heard.

Those words were shouted by Rittenhouse as he was being chased by Rosenbaum who, it was noted was steadily gaining ground.

Rittenhouse turned to face Rosenbaum with his gun but, according to Howard, the man was deterred only briefly and pressed on.

After the jurors were dismissed for the day Binger rose to address the judge. He called for juror 7 to be dismissed for cause citing a joke that they had attempted to make to a deputy at the end of Tuesday’s proceedings.

The judge will hear arguments and make a ruling Thursday morning.

Day three of the high-profile trial began with Koerri Elijah Washington back on the stand to complete testimony he began Tuesday afternoon.

Washington filmed much of the events of that night and streamed them on Facebook Live.

Pale and swallowing hard Rittenhouse looked on as jurors were played footage of the August night on which he shot two men dead and left another grievously wounded.

Rittenhouse widened his eyes, blinked and shifted in his seat uncomfortably. His jaw worked nervously. At one point a court official leaned in, apparently quietly checking if he was okay.

He nodded a small yes but looked for all the world like he might throw up as the footage was played on multiple large screens. One of them sat directly in front of where Rittenhouse sat with his attorneys.

All three of the men shot that night- Joseph Rosenbaum, Anthony Huber and Gaige Grosskreutz – were visible at various points in the video.

Washington recalled seeing Rittenhouse earlier in the evening and taking note of him – not, he said, because he seemed ‘malicious’ but because he, ‘looked young…was armed…and was wearing [surgical] gloves.’

Under direct examination Assistant District Attorney sought to downplay the violence of the night, playing the footage at length.

Pale and swallowing hard on Wednesday, Kyle Rittenhouse looked on as jurors were played footage of the August night on which he shot two men dead and left another grievously wounded

Pale and swallowing hard on Wednesday, Kyle Rittenhouse looked on as jurors were played footage of the August night on which he shot two men dead and left another grievously wounded

Rittenhouse's mother, Wendy Rittenhouse, was in court to support the 18-year-old. He was seen speaking to her before the start of his trial

Rittenhouse’s mother, Wendy Rittenhouse, was in court to support the 18-year-old. He was seen speaking to her before the start of his trial

Stepping up to cross examine the witness, defense attorney Corey Chirafisi focused on the violence which he suggested had escalated across the previous two nights. He drew out testimony about dumpster fires, rocks and ‘chunks of concrete’ thrown as missiles and noted the ‘opportunistic’ destruction that saw Kenosha’s Department of Corrections Parole office burn to the ground.

Moments later, as Rittenhouse was running down a street, he shot and killed Anthony Huber (pictured), 26, a protester from Silver Lake, Wisconsin

Moments later, as Rittenhouse was running down a street, he shot and killed Anthony Huber (pictured), 26, a protester from Silver Lake, Wisconsin

According to Washington, Rosenbaum was ‘acting erratic’ whenever he saw him. But he said that he observed an oddness in Rittenhouse’s behavior that night too.

He said, ‘I mean he was chain-smoking with gloves on…he seemed nervous in the situation. I supposed a lot of people were nervous. It’s not a slight at him, just a mental note.’

Washington observed, ‘It just seemed like he was young and didn’t know what was going on. If he didn’t have the gloves on maybe I wouldn’t have noticed so much.

‘I’m not saying I thought, ‘This is a guy who’s going to mow a bunch of people down,’ but I just thought this is interesting.’

When he saw him run by carrying a fire extinguisher Washington said that he followed, ‘not necessarily focusing on him per se but on the situation.’

Rittenhouse’s mother, Wendy, and sister, McKenzie, were once again in court to support the 18-year-old.

Many of the jurors – 11 women and nine men – took notes during the morning’s proceedings. They leaned into watch the video and one painstakingly sketched a copy of the satellite image of downtown Kenosha displayed on an easel in court. He drew in black ink, a red pen in one hand poised to mark places of significance.

The same juror struggled to silence his cellphone when it began ringing during testimony.

Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger points to a video screen as he questions Koerri Washington during Kyle Rittenhouse's trial

Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger points to a video screen as he questions Koerri Washington during Kyle Rittenhouse’s trial

Rittenhouse is accused of gunning down three people with a military-style semi-automatic rifle last year, killing two and injuring one

Rittenhouse is accused of gunning down three people with a military-style semi-automatic rifle last year, killing two and injuring one

Judge Bruce Schroeder halted proceedings shortly after court reconvened Wednesday afternoon as defense and prosecution butted heads over the admissibility of the audio that accompanied roaming video footage of August 25, 20202.

The video was being shown as Detective Martin Howard took the stand. Howard was the case’s lead detective.

Some of the scenes featured Rittenhouse and the defense raised no objection to hearing his voice. But much of the video, in which the narrator repeatedly referred to ‘militia’ on the rooftops and in the streets did not feature he defendant at all.

Binger insisted that the footage spoke to Rittenhouse’s state of mind because he must have seen and witnessed the events which were happening ‘just feet away from him.’

For his part Richards dismissed this as, ‘absurd.’

Schroeder asked the jury to leave to hear arguments between from both .Clearly irritated he took the opportunity to hammer home the importance not only of justice being done, but of it being seen to be done.

He said, ‘Anything that undermines the public confidence in this case is important. It’s important for this town. It’s important for this country. Whatever it is…people have to be confident.’

He added, ‘We want this case to be fairly tried and we want to go forward from this case whatever its outcome.’

Visibly annoyed Schroeder called an abrupt hiatus in proceedings and retired to his chambers one hour into the afternoon’s session.

In opening statements yesterday both sides agreed on one point; there is no mystery to this trial. 'I'm not going to ask you to solve a murder,' defense attorney Mark Richards told the court. 'It's not a who dunnit?'

In opening statements yesterday both sides agreed on one point; there is no mystery to this trial. ‘I’m not going to ask you to solve a murder,’ defense attorney Mark Richards told the court. ‘It’s not a who dunnit?’

In opening statements yesterday both sides agreed on one point; there is no mystery to this trial. ‘I’m not going to ask you to solve a murder,’ defense attorney Mark Richards told the court. ‘It’s not a who dunnit?’

Instead, this is a tale of competing narratives.

In the version offered by Kenosha Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger, Rittenhouse is a ‘chaos tourist’ who recklessly wielded his AR-15, shooting two unarmed men and grievously wounding another. He was a fantasist, a wannabe vigilante and, of all the people in the streets that night, he alone fired his weapon at anyone.

To Rittenhouse’s defense, he is a panicked 17-year-old who acted in self-defense. He believed his life was in danger, according to Richards; first from Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, who was intent on killing him and taking his gun.

In a moment of high drama Richards quoted from footage that showed Rosenbaum shouting, ‘Shoot me n*****! Shoot me n*****!’

Rosenbaum had been released from a mental health facility earlier that day – information that the jury may not hear after the prosecution sought to exclude it. He had attempted to commit suicide.

Next came Anthony Huber, 26. and Gaige Grosskreutz, 27. All were part of what Richards characterized as a violent mob, with Huber and Grosskreutz attacking Rittenhouse as he lay on his back on the ground. 

Huber wielded his skateboard in an attempt to ‘decapitate’ Rittenhouse, he said.

Grosskreutz came at him with a Glock.

Defense Mark Richards, center described a chaotic scene on the night of the protests that scared Rittenhouse and hindered his decision making that led to the two deaths that night. He showed photos of the moment Huber was shot

Defense Mark Richards, center described a chaotic scene on the night of the protests that scared Rittenhouse and hindered his decision making that led to the two deaths that night. He showed photos of the moment Huber was shot

Under Wisconsin law when a self-defense claim is raised it falls on the prosecution to disprove self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt – a substantial burden.

Shortly after lunch the first witness took the stand. Dominick Black, 20, had known Rittenhouse

for approximately nine months during which he was dating his sister Mackenzie. It was Black who bought the AR-15 for then 17-year-old and had initially agreed to hold it in his stepfather’s gun-safe until he turned 18.

In a moment of drama prosecutors produced the gun that Rittenhouse used that night, asking Black if he could identify it and holding it up for the jury to see.

Black told the jury of how he and Rittenhouse armed themselves with weapons and medical supplies and went to Kenosha to help clean up the aftermath of the two days of riots that had left swathes of business and property burned out, trashed and graffitied.

The focus fell on the local business Car Source which has three locations in Kenosha. One had been destroyed, its buildings and cars burned out. Another on 59th Street was damaged but mostly intact.

Black told the court how he, Rittenhouse and another friend, Nick Smith, took it upon themselves to protect this location.

He recalled scenes of chaos and violence and told how he climbed onto the business’s roof because he feared the crowds below. ‘It wasn’t a safe place to be at all,’ he said. There was, ‘a lot of screaming, people throwing things and people who were there ‘for not the right reasons.’

Kyle Rittenhouse yawning during his defense's statements

Kyle Rittenhouse smiling during his defense's statements

Kyle Rittenhouse, pictured yawning then smiling, began an expected two-week long homicide trial on Tuesday

Black, who was at the scene of the incident with Rittenhouse, purchased the rifle Rittenhouse used to kill two men. He said he was on the roof of a store when he got a call from the teen that he had killed someone

Black, who was at the scene of the incident with Rittenhouse, purchased the rifle Rittenhouse used to kill two men. He said he was on the roof of a store when he got a call from the teen that he had killed someone

Black stated that he and Rittenhouse were part of a group of around six or seven people armed with AR-15s.

And he recalled the moment that he heard gunshots – not thinking for a moment that Rittenhouse was the shooter – until the younger man ran towards him, pale as a ghost and sweating ‘like a pig’ saying, ‘I shot somebody. I shot somebody.’

According to Black, Rittenhouse told him, ‘I had to do it. It was self-defense.’

On redirect Black told the court that, while he personally felt that he was ‘in danger’ amid the night’s violence he never felt that his life was at risk and thought it ‘not appropriate’ for any of the group to point their guns at anyone.

Black himself is facing two felony counts for providing the gun to the Rittenhouse that was used to kill two people. That criminal case is still pending with each count punishable by six years in prison but the 20-year-old waived his fifth amendment right in order to testify.

The court also heard testimony from and were shown video footage filmed by Koerri Elijah Washington, who livestreamed many of the events of the night of August 25 and the preceding days and nights on Facebook Live.

The footage played at length showed relatively calm scenes and included several people armed with ‘long rifles.’

The defense claims Rittenhouse tried to turn himself in for shooting Rosenbaum, but was seized by a mob, including Huber, who they claimed tried to 'decapitate' Rittenhouse

The defense claims Rittenhouse tried to turn himself in for shooting Rosenbaum, but was seized by a mob, including Huber, who they claimed tried to ‘decapitate’ Rittenhouse

Asked how many people he saw armed in that way Washington said, ’15 to 25 people.’ Binger pointed to the fact that there were many people ‘getting in the face’ of people who were armed asking the witness if he saw any violence as a result. He did not.

Throughout direct examination Binger sought to diminish the danger of the night in a bid to portray Rittenhouse as the sole agitator who responded with lethal force to a situation that presented no significant threat.

Rittenhouse faces two homicide counts, one of attempted homicide and two of recklessly endangering safety for firing his weapon near others. He is also charged with possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under 18.

The shootings occurred amid the civil unrest and Black Lives Matters protests that began August 23 when a Kenosha police officer shot a black man, Jacob Blake, several times in the back leaving him paralyzed.

Rittenhouse fatally shot Rosenbaum after Rosenbaum chased him across a parking lot and threw a plastic bag at him shortly before midnight on August 25, 2020.

Moments later as Rittenhouse was running down a street he shot and killed Huber, a protester from Silver Lake, Wisconsin, and shot and wounded Grosskreutz, a protestor from West Allis, Wisconsin.



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