News and Commentary

Rittenhouse Trial: Judge Tosses Curfew Charge After Prosecution Falls Short On Evidence

   DailyWire.com
KENOSHA, WISCONSIN - NOVEMBER 09: Kyle Rittenhouse sits with his attorneys after a lunch break and waits for proceedings to start at the Kenosha County Courthouse on November 9, 2021 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Rittenhouse is accused of shooting three demonstrators, killing two of them, during a night of unrest that erupted in Kenosha after a police officer shot Jacob Blake seven times in the back while being arrested in August 2020. Rittenhouse, from Antioch, Illinois, was 17 at the time of the shooting and armed with an assault rifle. He faces counts of felony homicide and felony attempted homicide. (Photo by Sean Krajacic-Pool/Getty Images)
Sean Krajacic-Pool/Getty Images

The judge overseeing the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, who killed two men and wounded another during a night of riots in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last year, dismissed a charge of breaking curfew against the teen on Tuesday.

Rittenhouse is on trial facing six total charges: five felonies and one misdemeanor. The felony charges are intentional homicide, reckless homicide, attempted intentional homicide, and two counts of reckless endangerment. The misdemeanor charge is underage possession of a deadly weapon.

Judge Bruce Schroeder tossed an additional curfew charge on Tuesday, ruling that prosecutors had failed to produce any evidence that a curfew had been in place, according to CNN. The judge left in place the misdemeanor gun charge against Rittenhouse, overruling the defense’s request to have it dismissed. Rittenhouse’s attorneys have previously argued that applicable Wisconsin gun law is unconstitutional, according to the Kenosha News.

The defense’s failure to get the misdemeanor gun charge dismissed is a rare win for the prosecution over the past week of testimony. Assistant district attorney Thomas Binger and James Kraus rested the prosecution’s case on Tuesday after several significant setbacks in its case.

In one particular exchange on Monday, Gaige Grosskreutz, the third man shot by Rittenhouse on August 25, 2020, and the only one of the three to survive, confirmed that Rittenhouse did not shoot until Grosskreutz “advanced” on the teen while pointing a pistol at him. Defense attorney Corey Chirafisi brought Grosskreutz’s admission forth during cross-examination. The exchange went as follows, according to The Daily Wire:

Corey Chirafisi: Now, you’d agree your firearm is pointed at Mr. Rittenhouse. Correct?

Gaige Grosskreutz: Yes.

CC: Okay. And once your firearm is pointed at Mr. Rittenhouse, that’s when he fires his gun. Yes?

GG: No.

CC: Sir, look, I don’t want to – does this look like right now your arm is being shot?

GG: That looks like my bicep being vaporized, yes.

CC: Okay. And it’s being vaporized as you’re pointing your gun directly at him. Yes?

GG: Yes.

CC: Okay. So when you were standing 3-5 feet from him with your arms up in the air, he never fired. Right?

GG: Correct.

CC: It wasn’t until you pointed your gun at him, advanced on him with your gun — now your hands down — pointed at him that he fired. Right?

GG: Correct.

On Tuesday, a forensic pathologist testified that another man that Rittenhouse shot, Joseph Rosenbaum, may have been grabbing Rittenhouse’s rifle when the teen pulled the trigger. The testimony strengthened the defense’s claim that Rittenhouse feared that his rifle would be stolen and used against him. According to the Associated Press:

The first man killed by Kyle Rittenhouse on the streets of Kenosha was shot at a range of just a few feet and had soot injuries that could indicate he had his hand over the barrel of Rittenhouse’s rifle, a pathologist testified Tuesday.

But it was unclear from video footage whether Joseph Rosenbaum was grabbing for Rittenhouse’s gun or trying to swat it away, said the witness, Dr. Doug Kelley, with the Milwaukee County medical examiner’s office.

Kelley was one of the final witnesses for the state before prosecutors rested their murder case after 5 1/2 days of testimony that were aimed at portraying Rittenhouse as the aggressor but often bolstered the young man’s claim of self-defense. His lawyers have suggested the 17-year-old was afraid his gun would be taken away and used against him.

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