Kyle Rittenhouse, 18, testified Wednesday that Joseph Rosenbaum threatened to kill him two times before the fatal incident in which Rosenbaum was killed unfolded in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
During questioning from the defense team, Rittenhouse recalled Rosenbaum yelling to him and friend, “If I catch any of you f***ers alone, I’m going to f***ing kill you.” The teen, later being questioned by prosecution, emphasized that he took the words as a direct personal threat.
On another occasion, Rosenbaum told the two males, “I’m going to cut your f***ing hearts out and kill you N-words,” Rittenhouse said on the stand, claiming that Rosenbaum did not use the term “N-word” but used the real racial slur. Speaking to prosecution, Rittenhouse said the threat, from his understanding, was made directly to him and his friend.
The teen noted that he did not know Rosenbaum prior to the threats.
At the time of at least one of the threats, Rosenbaum was clothed in a red shirt and wearing a “blue mask,” Rittenhouse added.
As highlighted by The Daily Wire, social media influencer Koerri Washington testified last week that he has seen videos of Rosenbaum hurling the N-word and yelling “shoot me” near a Kenosha gas station on the night of August 25, 2020.
Washington also told the jury he made a “mental note” of Rosenbaum due to his “erratic” behavior.
Moreover, during cross-examination, the defense team showed Washington video footage — some taken by Mr. Washington himself — from the night Rittenhouse fatally shot two rioters, including Rosenbaum. The witness acknowledged that demonstrators set fires and some were upset that others in the area were putting out those fires. Rosenbaum may have been one of the men shouting that he was upset about the fires being put out.
The defense team on Wednesday notably asked Judge Bruce Schroeder for a mistrial with prejudice, which, if granted, would effectively dismiss the case permanently.
“The defense is arguing the prosecution was out of line and his conduct was extreme,” reported Fox News’ Jiovanni Lieggi.
“Circuit Court Judge Bruce E. Schroeder says he will take the motion under advisement after back-and-forth with the prosecutor in question, Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger,” Lieggi added. “Judge adds that he does not believe the Binger was acting in good faith.”
As highlighted by The Daily Wire, Binger was scolded by Judge Schroeder on two occasions before the lunch break over his questioning of Rittenhouse.
“The problem is this is a grave constitutional violation for you to talk about the defendant’s silence, and that is, you’re right on the borderline. And you may be over, but it better stop,” Schroeder told the prosecutor, after sending out the jury. “I can’t think of an initial case on it, but this is not permitted.”
He was admonished once more, before lunch, The Daily Wire outlined:
Later on during Binger’s examination, the judge sent the jury out again after the prosecutor began to veer into a line of questioning that Binger did not approve with Schroeder beforehand, and that Schroeder had suggested he would forbid in pretrial hearings. The second infraction brought an explosion from the judge over the first, and Schroeder again ripped into Binger for potentially violating Rittenhouse’s rights protected under the Constitution.
Rittenhouse was 17 years old when he was arrested for fatally shooting two men, as well as injuring a third during unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, following the police shooting of Jacob Blake. Rittenhouse has been charged with five felony counts and one misdemeanor, including first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless homicide, two counts of first-degree recklessly endangering safety, attempted first-degree intentional homicide, and possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under 18.
He has pleaded not guilty to all charges and says he acted in self-defense.