Kyle Rittenhouse could be seen yawning through the first day of his homicide trial, with his lawyer defending him as a ‘scared kid’.
The 18-year-old has been charged with intentional, reckless and attempted homicide, reckless endangerment, curfew violation and possession of a firearm as a minor following the deaths of Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, on August 25 last year in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Gaige Grosskreutz, 26, was also injured.
Rittenhouse, who was 17 at the time of the incident, had travelled to Kenosha to reportedly act as militia for local businesses, amid protests following the police shooting of Jacob Blake. Prosecutors told the court he’s ‘the only person who killed anyone’, but the teenager has pleaded not guilty.
Rittenhouse’s case has seen attention from both sides of the political spectrum, with far-right supporters and gun-rights lobbyists seeing him as a patriot, while others wish to see him convicted and have dubbed him a ‘vigilante’.
His attorney Mark Richards alleged Rittenhouse acted in self-defence on the night of Rosenbaum and Huber’s deaths, describing him as a ‘scared kid who protected himself from a mob’, The Independent reports.
‘If someone is hurt, I’m running into harm’s way. That’s why I have my rifle; I’ve gotta protect myself, obviously. But I also have my med kit,’ he told The Daily Caller in an interview from the night in question.
According to Richards, the two men reached for Rittenhouse’s gun and a third could be seen with a handgun, and they were all allegedly part of a mob that ‘attacked him in the street like an animal… [he] protected himself, protected his firearm so it couldn’t be taken and used against him or other people from Mr. Rosenbaum, who made threats to kill.’
Thomas Binger, the Kenosha county assistant district attorney, argued, ‘Out of these hundreds of people, only one person killed anyone that night. Only one person shot anyone that night,’ referring to Rittenhouse, also describing him as a ‘tourist outside of our community’ who was ‘drawn to the chaos’.
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