Kyle Rittenhouse Breaks Down In Front Of Jury As He Testifies At Homicide Hearing
Kyle Rittenhouse has begun testifying in his defence as he faces trial on homicide charges after killing two people at a protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin last year.
The 18-year-old has pleaded not guilty to six charges, including first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless homicide and first-degree attempted intentional homicide, and today waived his fifth amendment rights to testify in front of the jury.
Rittenhouse, who claims he was acting in self-defence, told the jury that he had been ‘ambushed’ and threatened by Joseph Rosenbaum – one of the men he shot and killed – as he was running to put out fires at a car shop, and began to break down in tears as he recalled the events, leading the judge to call for a break in proceedings as his lawyers attempted to calm him down.
After returning to the court for cross-examination by the prosecution, Rittenhouse denied intentionally killing the people he shot but acknowledged using ‘deadly force’, saying, ‘I didn’t know if it was going to kill them, but I used deadly force to stop the threat that was attacking me.’
The teenager’s testimony comes after the prosecution rested its case on Tuesday, having called 22 witnesses over the course of six days. Among those to testify was a third victim – Gaige Grosskreutz – who told the jury he’d thought Rittenhouse was an ‘active shooter,’ and a doctor who said that Rosenbaum had died from a fatal shot to the back.
Video footage from the scene of the protest showed Rittenhouse, armed with an AR-15-style rifle, being confronted by protestors, including Rosenbaum, Grosskreutz and Anthony Huber, who was also shot and killed. The incident took place during the chaotic protests following the police shooting of Jacob Blake in August 2020.
Rittenhouse could face a life sentence in prison if convicted of the most serious charge of first-degree intentional homicide.
The trial is ongoing.
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