NEWS & ANALYSIS

Rittenhouse Defense Moves for Mistrial ‘Without Prejudice’ Over Drone Video


Kyle Rittehouse’s defense moved for a mistrial Monday and again on Wednesday over drone video used in the trial. 

Mark Richards and Corey Chirafisi, Rittenhouse’s defense attorneys, said prosecutors gave them a 3.6-megabyte version of a drone video, while the version they kept for themselves was 11.2-megabytes. They said the resolution of the file they received came in at 480 by 212 pixels compared to 1920 by 844 in the prosecution’s file, Fox News reports

They argued the prosecution did not turn over the full-resolution video until two days before closing arguments began and after the window to turn over evidence had closed. 

“During the jury instructions conference, the defense played their version for the court to review,” the attorneys wrote in a motion to dismiss Monday. “The state indicated that their version was much clearer and had their tech person come into court to review their clearer video.” 

They requested the judge declare the case a mistrial “with prejudice,” which would preclude a retrial. 

On Wednesday, the defense team again asked for a mistrial without prejudice, meaning a new trial would remain a possibility. 

Judge Bruce Schroeder told attorneys he would wait until the jury requests the drone video to rule on a potential mistrial. 

The prosecution said Wednesday it did not mean to give the defense a compressed version of the video, claiming it only happened because it was transferred from an iPhone to an Android. 

“They could have asked for a thumb drive, they could have asked for whatever,” Assistant District Attorney James Kraus said. “We’re not responsible for that.” 

Judge Schroeder said that a new evidentiary hearing may be necessary. 

“We can’t resolve this now, because this is going to require expert testimony from people,” he said.