Rittenhouse Trial: Irate judge admonishes prosecutor multiple times, threatening a mistrial

It is without a doubt “a made for TV moment” as defendant Kyle Rittenhouse took to the stand Wednesday morning in Kenosha, Wisconsin.  No sooner did the court proceedings begin, Circuit Court Judge Bruce E. Schroeder had to abruptly call a halt to the trial, ordering the jury out of the courtroom. He then lambasted Kenosha County Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger of committing a “grave constitutional” error by choosing to stay silent before Wednesday’s testimony.

However, that was just the beginning of what was to become a series of reprimands by Judge Schroeder towards prosecutor Binger, threatening the likelihood of a mistrial if the willful infractions continued.

Schroeder, visibly angry, once again stopped the prosecutor in mid-sentence and quickly ordered the jury out of the courtroom to an adjacent room.  He once again admonished Binger for grilling young Rittenhouse as to why the teenager asked a friend to purchase the gun.

It’s not admissible, and none of this is frankly,” an exasperated Schroeder announced to the prosecution team.

The trial once again proceeded with Rittenhouse’s defense team asking the young lad to describe in detail the events of that awful night when he was set upon by an angry mob of looters and rioters. 

Rittenhouse describes the moment he was confronted by one of the armed rioters, an individual named Grosskreutz.

Rittenhouse: “My rifle is down, his hands are up. His pistol is in his hand.  And then, Mr. Grosskreutz looks at me … Grosskreutz brings his arm down with me on the ground. His pistol is pointed at me. And that’s when I shoot him, once.”

Adding; “He’s no longer a threat to me. There’s only one person in front of me and his hands are up … I get onto one knee …” Rittenhouse describes how the man in front of him then backs up and he does not shoot him.

Rittenhouse says he then moved toward the police line “to turn myself in” to the police there.

The trial then takes another unscripted detour when Assistant District Attorney Binger begins cross-examining Rittenhouse, grilling him on whether he intended to kill Grosskreutz.

Binger asks Rittenhouse: “Everybody that you shot at that night you intended to kill, correct?”

Rittenhouse responds: “I didn’t intend to kill them. I intended … to stop the people who were attacking me.

Binger repeats the question several times, implying that the killing was premeditated.

Judge Schroeder once again stops the trial, warning Binger that he has once again crossed the line.

Rittenhouse, at one point during the trial breaks down, sobbing uncontrollably.  The judge hands him a bottle of water before he calls for a break.

The teenager was describing the moment he was forced to use his weapon for the first time in self-defense.

A man named Joshua Ziminski steps toward me with a pistol in his hand. And as I’m, as I’m walking towards to put out the fire, I drop the fire extinguisher and I, I take a step back.”

When asked his plan after stepping back from Ziminski, Rittenhouse responds: “My plan is to get out of that situation and go back … to where the Car Source lot #2 was.”  Defense attorney asks, was he able to get back?

I wasn’t … once I take that step back I look over my shoulder and Mr. Rosenbaum, Mr. Rosenbaum was now running from my right side and I was cornered from in front of me with Mr. Ziminski and there were … there were three people right there,” he said in tears. “That’s when I run …”

Notice: This article may contain commentary that reflects the author's opinion.

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