Judge reprimands prosecutor for behavior during Rittenhouse trial

Prosecutors in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse were tasked with addressing the massive hole left in their case by their own star witness earlier this week.

Wednesday’s developments in the courtroom included an outburst by Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger, who lashed out after the judge advised that he violated a pre-trial ruling.

“Grave violation”

Binger also attracted criticism for apparently disparaging Rittenhouse’s right to remain silent. His tactics throughout the day led to several reprimands from the bench and a motion from the defense for a mistrial.

To be sure, the prosecutor was on difficult footing from the beginning after the state’s own witness, Gaige Grosskeutz, offered testimony that seemed to support the defendant’s claims of self defense.

When Rittenhouse took the stand, Binger seemed to dispense with any sense of sympathy, opting for a direct attack on the defendant’s character that the judge determined was a violation of a pre-trial ruling.

Early on in his cross-examination, the assistant district attorney commented on Rittenhouse’s post-arrest silence.

Judge Bruce Schroeder initially issued a warning, but Binger did it again, prompting Schroeder to scold him for the “grave violation.” The attorney went on to discuss evidence that had already been excluded.

“I didn’t do anything wrong”

Shortly thereafter, the judge became irate in response to Binger’s behavior, shouting: “Don’t get brazen with me!”

Despite the admonition, the prosecutor continued to talk back to the judge. The startling pattern continued throughout the day and Schoeder asserted that he did not believe Binger’s claim that he was acting in good faith.

The entire ordeal led many viewers to chalk the behavior up to Binger’s dirty tricks — and the defense responded with its motion for a mistrial with prejudice.

In general, the prosecution seemed intent on distracting the jury with tangential details in an effort to paint Rittenhouse as an unrepentant killer for opening fire during a riot in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Schroeder was apparently having none of it, though, explaining at one point that Rittenhouse was not on trial for “exquisitely bad judgment.”

While Rittenhouse was on the stand, Binger asked him if he cared whether Anthony Huber died during the fatal altercation, asserting that his “only concern in that moment” was his personal safety. The defendant continued to maintain his innocence, however, declaring: “I didn’t do anything wrong. I defended myself.”

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