Kyle Rittenhouse’s defense attorneys filed a motion for a mistrial on Monday, alleging prosecutorial misconduct.
The defense team filed for a mistrial with prejudice, accusing the prosecution of withholding video evidence that could be key to Rittenhouse’s self-defense argument.
The seven-page mistrial request alleged that prosecutors had high-resolution drone footage but failed to produce it, showing only a grainy low-resolution version of the footage in court. The defense said they only received the higher-resolution clip later on Saturday after testimony was over.
The footage was used by the prosecution in an attempt to prove that Rittenhouse chased the first man he shot, Joseph Rosenbaum, before their positions switched and Rosenbaum began chasing Rittenhouse.
The “compressed version” of the footage “was not as clear as the video kept by the state,” the defense said in their written motion.
“The video footage has been at the center of this case,” the defense wrote in the motion, saying the footage is the “linchpin” in the prosecution’s case.
“The failure to provide the same quality footage in this particular case is intentional and clearly prejudices the defendant,” the motion stated.
The mistrial motion will be moot if the jury acquits Rittenhouse. Judge Bruce Schroeder is not expected to rule on the mistrial motion until after the verdict.
The motion also mentioned several other issues with the proseuction about which Schroeder reprimanded Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger, including bringing up evidence the judge had already banned and questioning Rittenhouse on his post-arrest silence.
Rittenhouse is awaiting a verdict on charges related to his fatal shooting of two men and injuring of another during riots in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last summer.
Rittenhouse, who is now 18, lives in Antioch, a northern suburb of Chicago about 15 miles from Kenosha. On August 25 of last year when he was 17, Rittenhouse decided to patrol the downtown Kenosha area alongside other armed men in order to protect a used car dealership from looting and vandalism. The city had devolved into rioting over the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a black man, by a white Kenosha police officer.
He was chased and attacked by protesters and ended up fatally shooting two men and injuring a third. His attorneys argue he shot in self-defense.
Rittenhouse was charged with five felony charges and one misdemeanor charge. The most serious charge is intentional homicide, Wisconsin’s top murder charge, while the others are reckless homicide, attempted homicide, two counts of reckless endangerment, and being a minor illegally in possession of a firearm.
The firearm charged was dismissed by the judge on Monday, however. He was also charged with violating curfew, but that charge was dismissed by the judge last week. He has pled not guilty to all charges.
The jury heard closing arguments in the case on Monday, and as of early Wednesday morning, the jury was still out. A total of 18 jurors heard the case, and 12 will decide Rittenhouse’s fate.
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