The trial of Illinois teenager Kyle Rittenhouse wrapped up for the weekend on Friday, and, so far, the controversial trial has included shocking witness testimonies, including a claim that the first man Rittenhouse shot had previously threatened to kill him, the New York Post reports.
Rittenhouse is accused of murdering two people and wounding a third during a wave of violent riots that engulfed Kenosha, Wisconsin last summer following the police-involved shooting of Jacob Blake.
Attorneys for Rittenhouse say the teen was forced to defend himself after he went out to offer first aid, and protect local business owners.
One of the individuals who accompanied Rittenhouse was U.S. Army veteran Ryan Balch, and he testified on Thursday that the first person Rittenhouse shot that night, Joseph Rosenbaum, had earlier threatened to murder Rittenhouse.
“Rosenbaum was right there in front of my face,” Balch said according to the New York Post. “He said, ‘If I catch you guys alone tonight, I’m gonna f–king kill you.’ He threatened me and the defendant.”
Balch was not the only witness to offer testimony that corroborated Rittenhouse’s self-defense claim. Early, prosecutors had called journalist Richie McGinniss to appear.
McGinniss, a reporter for the Daily Caller, was standing mere feet away when Rittenhouse shot Rosenbaum in the parking lot of a car dealership.
When the witness described how Rosenbaum attempted to take Rittenhouse’s gun, Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger questioned McGinniss’ characterization of events.
“You never met him”
“I mean, you have no idea what Mr. Rosenbaum was ever thinking at any point in his life,” Binger told McGinniss. “You have never been inside his head. You never met him before.”
“So your interpretation of what he was trying to do or what he was intending to do along those lines is complete guesswork,” the prosecutor insisted. McGinniss responded, “Well, he said ‘f–k you’ and then he reached for the weapon.”
Chicago’s NBC 5 reported that Rosenbaum was a convicted sex offender who was banned from possessing firearms. Those facts have not yet been presented to the jury.
As the Daily Mail noted, jurors have not been told that the second man Rittenhouse killed, Anthony Huber, had a criminal history that included convictions for domestic violence.