The trial of Kyle Rittenhouse has captured the nation’s attention, as the 18-year-old faces six charges at present. We learned Friday afternoon that he could be convicted on other charges in addition to, or in place of, the six counts originally submitted to the jury. And his attorney disclosed that due to the events of August 25, 2020, Kyle Rittenhouse allegedly suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Here are the latest developments in the case as of Friday, November 12, at 2:49 p.m. Eastern time:
The jury will be able to charge Kyle Rittenhouse with lesser offenses: Kyle Rittenhouse could be charged with endangering Daily Caller reporter
Prosecutors originally accused Kyle Rittenhouse of committing six crimes: five felonies — intentional homicide, reckless homicide, attempted intentional homicide, and two counts of reckless endangerment — and a misdemeanor count of underage possession of a deadly weapon. That number might now expand.
If the prosecution is unable to prove the original six charges beyond a reasonable doubt, rather than acquitting the teenager (who was a minor at the time of the August 25, 2020, incident), Rittenhouse decided on Friday afternoon to give jurors the option of charging him with other, lesser offenses that the prosecution deems appropriate.
“If a lesser imputed offense is presented to the jury … which are less serious crimes, carrying lesser potential sentences — if I allow those, then the jury, if they are unable to agree that you’re guilty of the charged offense, will have the opportunity to consider whether you’re guilty of the less serious offense and could return that as a verdict as an alternative to instead returning a verdict of not guilty,” Judge Bruce Schroeder told Rittenhouse on November 12. Judge Schroeder admitted that Rittenhouse would be “raising the risk of conviction” but “decreasing the chance you’ll have a second trial.”
Rittenhouse’s attorneys objected to some of the lesser offenses but allowed others to go forward. The 18-year-old had the opportunity to overrule the advice of legal counsel but chose to accept it.
Judge Schroeder had disallowed prosecutors from asking jurors to convict Rittenhouse of second-degree reckless homicide in the death of Joseph Rosenbaum and second-degree reckless endangerment, but he is leaning toward allowing jurors to consider another second-degree reckless endangerment charge involving Daily Caller journalist Richard McGinnis, who was standing approximately 15 feet behind Rosenbaum during the shooting.
Rittenhouse’s attorneys reveal that he allegedly has PTSD
As Judge Schroeder asked Rittenhouse if he would allow lesser charges of his own free will, Rittenhouse paused when asked, “Have you ever been treated for a mental or emotional disorder?” Rittenhouse’s counsel noted that “he’s in therapy” due to the stress of the shooting. “As a result of this incident, he has PTSD,” defense attorney Mark Richards said, referring to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
The defense rests; closing arguments take place Monday
Judge Schroeder scheduled closing arguments for Monday. The November 15 session will begin with jury instructions, which the judge anticipated could take up to an hour. That will be followed by up to five hours of closing arguments: two from the prosecution and one from the defense. Prosecutor Thomas Binger anticipated that his first closing statement would last two hours, followed by a 90-minute closing argument from defense attorney Mark Richards, followed by a 30-minute rebuttal from Binger.
National frenzy after judge makes ‘Asian food’ joke
On Thursday, November 11, Judge Bruce Schroeder cracked a joke when asked when court would resume following a break for lunch. “I hope the Asian food isn’t coming, isn’t on one of those boats from Long Beach Harbor,” he joked. The humorous comment, which had no racial connotation, referred to cargo ships backed up in national ports like Long Beach, which has snarled the U.S. supply chain. But critics turned his food joke into a feeding frenzy, with one calling the remark “a thinly-veiled anti-Asian comment.”
#RittenhouseTrial Judge Bruce Schroeder breaks for lunch referencing the food that was ordered saying, “I hope the Asian food isn’t coming.. isn’t on one of those boats from Long Beach Harbor.” pic.twitter.com/UakvcxbSO1
— Kyung Lah (@KyungLahCNN) November 11, 2021
Judge Schroeder accuses prosecutor of “grave constitutional violation,” but lets trial proceed
During Kyle Rittenhouse’s testimony on November 10, prosecutor Thomas Binger mentioned the fact that Rittenhouse remained silent after his arrest and then strayed into a line of questioning that Judge Bruce E. Schroeder had previously disallowed.
Schroeder said that to imply that Rittenhouse’s decision to observe his Miranda rights somehow implied guilt violated the most basic aspects of criminal law. “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,” Judge Schroeder berated Binger.
The judge went on to admonish Binger over the forbidden line of questioning. “Don’t get brazen with me!” he said. “I was astonished when you began your examination by commenting on the defendant’s post-arrest silence. That’s basic law. It’s been basic law in this country for 40 years, 50 years. I have no idea why you would do something like that! And it gives, well, I’ll leave it at that. So, I don’t know what you’re up to.”
‘Don't get brazen with me,’ Kyle Rittenhouse trial Judge Bruce Schroeder yelled at prosecutor Thomas Binger, with the jury out of the room. Schroeder accused Binger of trying to introduce testimony that he had earlier ruled would not be allowed https://t.co/3bo4MN5oCM pic.twitter.com/GtJaNwGMOD
— Reuters (@Reuters) November 11, 2021
this is … not going well for the prosecutor pic.twitter.com/tPjYIrEORK
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) November 10, 2021
While Rittenhouse’s attorneys asked that that trial be dismissed with prejudice — meaning that Rittenhouse could not be tried for those charges in the future — Judge Schroeder allowed the trial to continue.
Rittenhouse takes the stand
Kyle Rittenhouse testified on his own behalf on Wednesday, November 10. On the stand, he claimed that Joseph Rosenbaum twice threatened violence before the altercation that claimed Rosenbaum’s life. Rosenbaum said, “If I catch any of you f***ers alone I’m going to f***ing kill you,” Rittenhouse testified. “I’m going to cut your f***ing hearts out and kill you N-words.”
That added to Rittenhouse’s contention that he acted to preserve his own life. As The Daily Wire’s Amanda Prestigiacomo reported:
Rittenhouse, detailing the moments before he fired on [Joseph] Rosenbaum recalled Rosenbaum yelling “burn in [H]ell” to him before Rittenhouse yelled “friendly, friendly, friendly!” in an attempt to calm Rosenbaum. But he was chased.
Rittenhouse described feeling “trapped” by Rosenbaum and another man, identified during the trial as Joshua Ziminski, who fired his pistol in the air. The teen said the man had the pistol pointed at him during the incident.
As the prosecutor attempted to force Rittenhouse to admit he shot with the premeditated intention to kill, the teenager artfully parried the attack by saying he used appropriate force to defend his life.
“Everybody that you shot at that night you intended to kill, correct?” asked prosecutor Thomas Binger.
“I didn’t intend to kill him. I intended to stop the person who was attacking me and trying to steal my gun,” Rittenhouse replied. “I did what I had to do to stop the person who was attacking me.” He reiterated, “I didn’t know if it was going to kill them, but I used deadly force to stop the threat that was attacking me.”
In dramatic and risky testimony, Kyle Rittenhouse tried to portray himself as wanting to help others during the protests last year in the city of Kenosha and opened fire only in self-defense after being attacked and ambushed https://t.co/8cJieJmog7 pic.twitter.com/UVe77EwkYm
— Reuters (@Reuters) November 11, 2021
Binger also asked, “What was the risk to you of death or great bodily harm” when Rosenbaum lunged at him. Rittenhouse responded, “If I would have let Mr. Rosenbaum my firearm from me, he would have used it and killed me with it and probably killed more people …”
Binger “what was the risk to you of death or great bodily harm?”
Rittenhouse “if I would have allowed him to get my firearm from me, he would have used it and killed me with it and probably killed more people” pic.twitter.com/CBkdVDHsBe
— John Curtis (@Johnmcurtis) November 10, 2021
Skilled litigators said Binger’s open-ended questions decimated his own case.
Kyle Rittenhouse breaks down on the stand
As he described being “cornered” and “trapped” by a growing crowd of violent antagonists, Kyle Rittenhouse appeared to hit an emotional wall, breaking down in sustained sobbing. Judge Schroeder offered a 10-minute-long recess for Rittenhouse to compose himself.
WATCH: Kyle Rittenhouse breaks down on the witness stand while describing the events leading to his fatal shooting of Kenosha resident Joseph Rosenbaum — causing the judge to call a pause in the trial https://t.co/6zHGXaFu9m pic.twitter.com/od3Vd4i3UG
— CBS News (@CBSNews) November 10, 2021
Such legacy media critics as CNN’s Ana Navarro and Joy Behar, and media outlets like USA Today and MSNBC diminished the impact of the moment, saying the teenager plotted his own breakdown to build sympathy with jurors. “A sobbing Kyle Rittenhouse already won — even before his trial is over,” wrote NBC News. “If convicted, he’ll become a right-wing martyr.”
Witness testifies that the prosecution asked him to “change” his statement
On Tuesday, November 9, amateur photographer Nathan DeBruin testified that the prosecutors tried to get him to “change” his statement during an uncomfortable meeting.
Prosecutor Thomas “Binger pulled out a cell phone and showed me a video and also a photo — which was actually one photo that I brought today — and asked me if I knew who a gentleman was in that photo, and I said I did not,” testified DeBruin. “He said, ‘This is Joshua Ziminski.’ … He says, ‘Well, that’s who that is.’ He put the phone down. He picked the phone back up and says, ‘Who is this?’ And I confusingly said, like, ‘Joshua Ziminski?’ and he said, ‘Would you like to add that to your statement?’ And I just felt I didn’t want to change my statement.”
Whether or not they tried to get him to alter his statement, the prosecution undeniably tried to get DeBruin to change his testimony.
“We didn’t ask you to change” the statement, Assistant District Attorney James Kraus said to DeBruin.
“Yes, you did,” DeBruin replied.
Survivor admits Rittenhouse only shot him after he advanced
While two people died, another man survived after being wounded by Rittenhouse last August 25. When called to the witness stand on Monday, November 8, that survivor did himself no favors. Gaige Grosskreutz, then 26, admitted to defense attorney Corey Chirafisi that Kyle Rittenhouse only shot Grosskreutz’s arm after Grosskreutz approached him with his own gun pointed at the prone Rittenhouse.
“Now, you’d agree your firearm is pointed at Mr. Rittenhouse, correct?” asked Chirafisi. “And once your firearm is pointed at Mr. Rittenhouse, that’s when he fires his gun, yes? … It wasn’t until you pointed your gun at him, advanced on him with your gun pointed at him, that he fired, right?”
“Correct,” replied Grosskreutz.
“It wasn’t until you pointed your gun at him, advanced on him with your gun pointed at him, that he fired, right?”
Witness who was shot by Rittenhouse:
— The Daily Wire (@realDailyWire) November 8, 2021
Daily Caller reporter shatters prosecutor’s case
One of the key witnesses was Richard McGinnis, a reporter for the Daily Caller, who visited the Kenosha riot to get video footage for his employer. McGinnis testified on November 4 that he had followed Joseph Rosenbaum as he chased Kyle Rittenhouse through a parking lot, then saw Rosenbaum reach for Rittenhouse’s AR-15 before Rittenhouse shot him. Rittenhouse has contended that he believed Rosenbaum would use the AR-15 to kill the teenager.
“It was clear to me it was a situation where it was likely something dangerous was going to happen, be it Mr. Rosenbaum grabbing it or Mr. Rittenhouse shooting it,” McGinnis testified.
The prosecution attempted to downplay McGinnis’ testimony as an act of speculation, which could not prove Rittenhouse acted in self-defense. “You have never been inside [Rosenbaum’s] head … so your interpretation of what he’s trying to do, or what he was intending to do, or anything along those lines is complete guesswork, isn’t it?” Binger asked.
“Well, he said “f*** you’ and he reached for the weapon,’” McGinnis replied.
Juror dismissed from case over a joke
Judge Bruce Schroeder dismissed an older, white male from the jury on November 4 after the juror admitted that he had told a joke about Kenosha police shooting Jacob Blake. The man argued that his remark had nothing to do with Rittenhouse, but the judge removed the man from the pool of 20 jurors. “It is clear that the appearance of bias is present,” said Judge Schroeder. “It was bad judgment to tell a joke of that nature.”
WATCH: Juror dismissed in Kyle Rittenhouse murder trial over joke about the shooting of Jacob Blake.
— ABC News (@ABC) November 4, 2021
Video footage seems to show that Rosenbaum lay in wait for Rittenhouse
On Wednesday, November 3, previously unseen FBI video footage appeared to show Joseph Rosenbaum hiding and waiting for Kyle Rittenhouse to run past him before chasing the then-17-year-old minor. As The Daily Wire reported:
The footage shows Rittenhouse, by himself, hastily walking down the sidewalk before Joseph Rosenbaum, wearing a mask, comes out of what defense has called a “hiding spot” between a cluster of cars. The cluster was located at a Car Source, where at least one vehicle had been set on fire that night.
Newly released FBI footage of Kyle Rittenhouse…. pic.twitter.com/XnnhvOAVkj
— Mrgunsngear (@Mrgunsngear) November 2, 2021
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.