Natalie Wisco, a defense attorney for 18-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, took it to prosecution Wednesday over claims that the state withheld video evidence from defense.
As outlined by National Review, the defense has accused the prosecution “of introducing drone footage of the incident in question that was lower quality than the footage that was already admitted into evidence and presented to the jury.”
“The video footage has been at the center of this case,” the motion for a mistrial with prejudice reads. “The failure to provide the same quality footage in this particular case is intentional and clearly prejudices the defendant.”
Assistant District Attorney James Kraus blamed Wisco for having the “wrong software” on her device and therefore receiving a “compressed” version of the video, denying the state sent her a different video of lower quality than what the prosecution had access to.
Wisco hit back, explaining to the judge that the file she received from ADA Kraus was almost three times smaller than the file the state had. She said that the metadata indicates that the state’s video was created some 21 minutes before the file that she received was created.
Only after Friday, when ADA Kraus noted that the state has a better version of the video, did Wisco become aware of the discrepancy. When she came to the courthouse to receive the clearer, larger video from Kruse, the file was 11 megabytes — much larger than the 4-megabyte file she initially received from the state, Wisco said.
“There’s no way what ADA Kraus is saying is true,” Wisco said before the court.
Defense says the filename sent earlier was not similar to the filename given over the weekend. pic.twitter.com/fJbT2CPDbG
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) November 17, 2021
Self-defense lawyer and legal expert Andrew Branca told The Daily Wire on Wednesday that the apparent video withholding “absolutely calls for a mistrial with prejudice,” especially, he says, when compounded with other offenses by the prosecution.
Branca has suggested that intent from the state is essentially irrelevant, noting the “burden” of providing defense the accurate video evidence is on the state, not the defense.
“In my professional opinion this news that the defense was only provided with a low-resolution version of the drone video absolutely calls for a mistrial with prejudice, especially when compounded by the other already existing grounds for such a dismissal,” the legal expert said.
“The prosecution’s entire theory of the case, their narrative of guilt, is that Kyle Rittenhouse provoked Joseph Rosenbaum’s attack on him,” Branca told The Daily Wire. “The only evidence the prosecution has ever offered in support of this claim of provocation is this drone video.”
“Given that the State only provided the defense with a low-resolution version means the defense was unable to either adequately prepare Rittenhouse for his own testimony, or their own counter-argument against the value of the drone video as evidence of provocation,” he explained.