NEWS & ANALYSIS

KYLE RITTENHOUSE TRIAL: Here's What You Need to Know


The trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old teen who killed two men while attempting to help a Kenosha, Wisconsin business during the riots in August of 2020, is in its second week. 

Here is what you need to know. 

Rittenhouse and at least one friend say they traveled to the Wisconsin city to help protect local businesses and provide medical aid after two nights of violent riots and looting. Rittenhouse brought a medical kit and an AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle, which he received from a friend. 

Rittenhouse was encountered by a mob. Once things escalated to violence, Rittenhouse used his gun in what appeared to be self- defense. 

Thus far, prosecutors have portrayed Rittenhouse as an aggressor, a killer. 

However, his lawyer has argued that he acted in self-defense, suggesting he had a reason to fear his weapon would be grabbed and used against him. 

Keep in mind, the entire case for self-defense is on video. 

Rittenhouse is accused of six serious counts and one offense of breaking curfew. 

According to a witness, the first man who Rittenhouse shot lunged for his rifle in an attempt to grab it. 

Richie McGinniss, who was recording on a cellphone for the Daily Caller, took the stand at the trial and described watching as Joseph Rosenbaum chased Rittenhouse in one of the most disputed moments of the night, Fox News reports

“I think it was very clear to me that he was reaching specifically for the weapon,” McGinniss said. 

Ironically enough, McGinniss was called to the stand by prosecution. 

In efforts to undo the damage done by his own witness, prosecutor Thomas Binger said McGinniss’ testimony was “complete guesswork.” 

“Isn’t it?” he asked. 

“Well,” McGinniss said, “he said ‘f**k you’ and then he reached for the weapon.”

“He was lunging, falling. I would use those as synonymous terms in the situation because basically, you know, he threw his momentum towards the weapon,” McGinniss said. 

The jury consists of eleven women and eight men, with seven alternates. So far, the state has called about a dozen witnesses, and shown more than a dozen videos to the jury. Rittenhouse’s attorneys say he will likely testify, per the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. 

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