Kyle Rittenhouse proved that he is one brave boy by testifying in his own defense today. It takes a lot of guts to get up there and expose yourself to the liability of cross examination when you're on trial for your life. You can watch his full testimony in the video embedded below this article. His testimony is quite long, so the purpose of this article is to highlight the most relevant timestamps.
44:00 - Rittenhouse is sworn and questioning begins.
1:04:45 - Rittenhouse testifies that Joseph Rosenbaum, a convicted sex offender (https://copblaster.com/blast/25931/so-called-kenosha-victim-joseph-rosenbaum-was-a-sex-offender), threatened to kill him twice.
1:17:50 - Rittenhouse testifies that he didn't notice Rosenbaum again until he ambushed him from behind a car at the lot.
1:20:00 - Rittenhouse breaks down in tears as he describes being cornered by Rosenbaum and trying to run away. Then the judge orders a recess so that Kyle can compose himself because he didn't seem able to finish telling his story without crying. He probably suffers from PTSD which causes people to fell like they're reliving traumatic events at times.
1:38:30 - Rittenhouse resumes his testimony composed.
1:39:50 - Rittenhouse describes being chased by Rosenbaum at the car lot. He says that Rosenbaum threw something at him, continued to gain ground, someone fired a gunshot, and Rittenhouse turned around. At that point Rosenbaum was directly behind him, coming at him full speed with his arms extended, and even touched the barrel of his gun.
1:41:15 - Rittenhouse's lawyer asks "why didn't you just keep running?" A very important question because Rittenhouse as a someone engaged in criminal activity (being a minor in possession of a firearm) had a duty to flee before he could legally defend himself. Rittenhouse explains that there was no space for him to continue to run. Rosenbaum was still lunging at him, so he shot him.
1:42:45 - Rittenhouse explains that when he went to check on Rosenbaum he heard other people yelling "get his ass" so he took off running.
1:4500 - Rittenhouse describes Anthony Huber (https://copblaster.com/blast/25934/anthony-huber-died-thinking-he-did-the-right-thing-due-to-bad-info) holding a skateboard like a baseball bat and swinging it at him as he tried to run away. He says that he blocked the skateboard with his left arm, but it still hit him in the neck. He continued to run down the street until he tripped and fell. While on the ground he felt a rock hit him in the back of the head. He noticed he was surrounded by a group of people, so he pointed his rifle at them to keep them from coming closer. All but one person backed off. That one person, whose never been identified, jump kicked him in the face. He fired two shots at him, but missed, and the guy backed off. Then Huber hit him in the neck with his skateboard again, grabbed his gun, and started pulling it away from him. He fired one shot which killed Huber. He then saw Gaige Grosskreutz with his hands up and pistol in his hand, but waited until he pointed the pistol at him before shooting him in the arm. Then he walked towards the police line, but the police threatened to pepper spray him and told him to go home, so he went home.
1:57:50 - Cross examination begins.
2:01:17 - Judge Bruce Schroeder (https://copblaster.com/blast/45698/kyle-rittenhouse-excluding-word-victim-is-step-in-right-direction) admonishes District Attorney Thomas Binger (https://copblaster.com/blast/26033/kenosha-ada-thomas-binger-leading-the-persecution-of-kyle-rittenhouse) for attempting to unlawfully use Rittenhouse's invocation of his Constitutional right to remain silent against him.
2:52:00 - Court is recessed for lunch.
4:09:40 - Court resumes. Defense counsel states their intention to file a motion for a mistrial with prejudice due to the state repeatedly commenting on Rittenhouse's right to remain silent.
4:34:00 - Cross examination resumes.
6:03:50 - Court is recessed for a short break.
6:27:00 - Cross examination resumes.
7:23:10 - Cross examination ends.
We think that Rittenhouse made an excellent witness for himself. With the exception of the time he broke down crying he handled himself really well. He didn't have to testify and we think he could have made his case without doing so, but sometimes it is best to tell the jury yourself what really happened. It also helps to humanize the defendant in a case in which the press has already convicted him.
This author recalls the time I testified in my own defense at a trial. It was a judge trial with no jury and I was only charged with misdemeanors, but it was an experience that helps me relate to Rittenhouse. In fact, I think he handled himself way better than I did. I got the impression when I was sentenced to 4 months in county jail that my testimony made the judge think I was something like a sociopath or just a smug jerk. I was only convicted of reckless endangerment and one of the state's witnesses supported my version of events, but the judge chose to believe the state's other witnesses even though they changed their story. I can't help but think that I would have gotten a shorter sentence had my attitude not been on display due to my testimony.
We think that Rittenhouse sincerely feared for his safety and used the least amount of force that was reasonable under the circumstances. The fact that he only shot people that attacked him demonstrated that. The evidence at this trial supports the conclusion we reached last year after reviewing the video evidence (https://copblaster.com/blast/25930/kenosha-protester-shot-in-self-defense-by-kyle-rittenhouse).