Rittenhouse Hearing to Decide on Evidence Allowed at Trial

Friday's decision by a judge will determine whether jurors in the trial of a man accused, among others, of shooting and killing two people during a Wisconsin police brutality demonstration last year.

Rittenhouse Hearing to Decide on Evidence Allowed at Trial

It's among several requests that Kenosha County Judge Bruce Schroeder will consider to determine what evidence and testimony will be allowed during Kyle Rittenhouse's Trial. Friday's hearing will be the last before the trial starts with jury selection on November 1.

Rittenhouse, who had come to Kenosha on Aug. 25, 2020 from Antioch, Illinois (about 20 miles (32.2 kilometers), after seeing a post on social media asking for help to protect businesses from protesters, shot the men. After responding to a domestic disturbance, , a white officer, shot Jacob Blake,, a Black man. The chaos that ensued in the city was intense for several days. Blake was left paralysed from the waist down by the shooting.

Prosecutors claim that Rittenhouse was seen watching men leave a CVS Pharmacy location 15 days prior to the protest shootings and commenting on how he wishes he had his gun so he could kill them.

In the protest shootings, Rittenhouse faces multiple charges including two counts each of first-degree intentional murder and illegal firearm possession. Rittenhouse was 17 years old at the time. He opened fire using an AR-style semiautomatic gun on Joseph Rosenbaum (36), of Kenosha and Anthony Huber (26), of Silver Lake, resulting in their deaths. Gaige Grosskreutz of West Allis was also killed.

Rittenhouse claims that three white men attacked Rittenhouse and that he fired in self defense. His arrest became a rallying cry of gun rights advocates and conservatives frustrated by protests over the shootings in police stations across the country. Conservatives paid $2 million to cover his bail. Black Lives Matter supporters have described Rittenhouse (who is white) as a trigger-happy racist.

Other motions that will be on Friday's table include:

-- Prosecution request to stop John R. Black, a police force expert, from testifying. Thomas Binger, Assistant District Attorney, argues that Rittenhouse's jury doesn't need an expert in self-defense. Police use-of-force strategies and tactics are not relevant.

A defense request to exonerate evidence in a July 2020 case where Rittenhouse was alleged to have hit a woman involved in an altercation between Rittenhouse and her younger sister. Mark Richards, defense attorney, argues that the case does not affect Rittenhouse's self-defense actions on August 25, 2020.

Defense request to exonerate evidence that Rittenhouse was seen in January at a Racine bar with Proud Boys members wearing a T-shirt that said "Free as (expletive)" Richards claims that nothing proves Rittenhouse knew these men or that Rittenhouse's presence in Kenosha on August 25, 2020 was related to the Proud Boys, or any other white nationalist group.

-- A defense request to present evidence that Rosenbaum was convicted in 2002 of having sex with a minor in Arizona. Richards claims that this supports the defense theory that Rosenbaum attacked Rittenhouse in order to steal Rittenhouse’s gun, since Rosenbaum could not legally possess one.

-- A defense request to dismiss an illegal firearm charge Richards claims Rittenhouse is too young under Wisconsin law to be allowed to own short-barreled shotguns or rifles. This is not the case with his AR-style rifle.

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