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Watch live: Kyle Rittenhouse defense continues its case

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The video above is live only when court is in session and the judge allows video/audio to be broadcast.

Lee Enterprises will be carrying a live blog of events in the homicide trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, which began with jury selection Nov. 1 and opening statements the following day. 

Rittenhouse, 18, shot two people and wounded a third during a night of unrest in Kenosha on Aug. 25, 2020. His attorneys contend he acted in self-defense, while prosecutors have portrayed him as an instigator. 

Lee Enterprises/Kenosha News reporter Deneen Smith is reporting from inside the Kenosha County Courthouse, with reporting on this page augmented by remote staff and wire reports.


More coverage: 


2:23 p.m.: Richards said the defense will rest. State said they have one rebuttal witness.

2:10 p.m.: John Black back on the stand, testifying about "enhancement of video evidence."

By 2:22 p.m., Black was back off the stand.

With Black's testimony done, lead defense attorney Mark Richards tells the judge "We've got some housekeeping matters and then—" and shrugs his shoulders.

1:30 p.m. Drew Hernandez, who described himself as a commentator/investigator, testifies that he saw Joseph Rosenbaum "pushing flaming Dumpsters into police vehicles occupied by officers and human beings."

He then shows video he took of a flaming metal Dumpster being pushed into the street, with police vehicles well down the street. Hernendez says he saw Rosenbaum chasing Kyle Rittenhouse at Car Source.

On cross-examination, prosecutor Thomas Binger asks Hernandez about the political leanings of the site he works for. The defense objects, and Judge Bruce Schroeder reiterates an earlier sentiment that "this is not a political trial."

"Have you ever posted anything on Twitter in support of Kyle Rittenhouse?" Binger asks.

"One could argue yes," the witness responds. 

Noon: Less than three seconds elapsed between the time a protester in the streets fired a shot in the air and Kyle Rittenhouse opened fire with his rifle, a use-of-force expert testified for the defense Thursday at Rittenhouse’s murder trial.

John Black took the stand as part of an effort by Rittenhouse's lawyers to show that the then-17-year-old had reason to fear for his life and acted in self-defense when he shot three men, killing two, during a turbulent night of protests against racial injustice in Kenosha last year.

The defense has suggested to the jury that the relevant timeframe for determining whether Rittenhouse's use of force was reasonable consists of just a few minutes around the shootings.

Prosecutors, for their part, have stressed a much longer window, saying the tragic chain of events occurred over hours, starting with Rittenhouse’s fateful decision to go to a volatile protest with a rifle. — Associated Press 

10 a.m.: John Black of the Force Science Institute is expected to the first witness of the day for the defense.

Force Science Institute's work appears to be mostly focused on use of force by police. "We have a detailed history of working directly with Law Enforcement Trainers, Administrator or Line Officers, Use of Force Investigators, Public Information Officers, Police Union(s)"

9:15 a.m.: Judge Bruce Schroeder said Thursday morning he was confused the day before and through Wednesday was Thursday. So now he estimates the jury will be able to deliberate Friday.

9 a.m. Defense attorneys are expected to continue calling witnesses today in the homicide trial of Kyle Rittenhouse. 

Jurors spent most of Wednesday hearing from Rittenhouse, who testified that he tried to get away from his pursuers the night he shot three men during street unrest in Kenosha, saying he never wanted to kill anyone: “I didn't do anything wrong. I defended myself.”

The 18-year-old spent most of Wednesday giving his account of what happened in just a few frenzied minutes on Aug. 25, 2020, sobbing so hard at one point that the judge called a recess.

Kyle Rittenhouse broke down in tears on the witness stand at his murder trial Wednesday as he described how he was being pursued by the first man he shot and killed during a night of turbulent protests in Kenosha.

In an account largely corroborated by video and the prosecution’s own witnesses, Rittenhouse said that the first man cornered him and put his hand on the barrel of Rittenhouse's rifle, the second man hit him with a skateboard, and the third man came at him with a gun of his own.

Rittenhouse fatally shot the first two men and wounded the third.

His nearly daylong testimony was interrupted by an angry exchange in which his lawyers demanded a mistrial over what they argued were out-of-bounds questions asked of him by the chief prosecutor, Thomas Binger. 

Kenosha County Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder accuses prosecutor Thomas Binger of an improper line of questioning of Kyle Rittenhouse during Rittenhouse's homicide trial. Binger said he thought the door was open to his questions because of previous testimony, but the judge rejected that.

The judge, though plainly mad at Binger, did not immediately rule on the request. And later in the day, he instructed the jury to expect closing arguments early next week.

Rittenhouse is on trial over the shootings he committed during unrest that erupted in Kenosha over the wounding of Jacob Blake, a Black man, by a white Kenosha police officer. He could get life in prison on the charges. Rittenhouse is white, as were those he shot.

Rittenhouse, who was 17 at the time, went to Kenosha with an AR-style semi-automatic weapon and a medic bag in what the former police and fire youth cadet said was an effort to protect property after rioters had set fires and ransacked businesses on previous nights. — Associated Press 


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