Kyle Rittenhouse took the stand Wednesday, where he doubled down on his claims he killed two men and injured a third during protests in Kenosha in the summer of 2020 in self-defense. At one point, he began sobbing so hard during his testimony that the judge called a recess.
Rittenhouse, 18, testified that he “didn’t want to have to shoot” Joseph Rosenbaum, the first man he shot and killed. He told the court that Rosenbaum had threatened to kill him earlier in the night and was chasing him.
“If I would have let Mr. Rosenbaum take my firearm from me, he would have used it and killed me with it,” he said, “and probably killed more people.”
He then told the court that he shot and killed Anthony Huber after Huber hit him with a skateboard. He then testified that he shot and wounded Gaige Grosskreutz after Grosskreutz pointed a pistol at him.
The day was not without drama. At one point, the jury removed from the court, and Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder accused prosecutor Thomas Binger of introducing testimony the judge has earlier said he would most likely not allow and of an improper line of questioning.
Rittenhouses’ lawyers asked for a mistrial. According to the Associated Press, Binger told the judge he had been “acting in good faith,” but the judge made it clear he didn’t believe that.
Rittenhouse is on trial for the shootings he committed during protests in Kenosha following the police shooting of Jacob Black. The former police youth cadet, 17 at the time, went to Kenosha with an AR-style gun and medic bag to protect businesses affected during the unrest.
When asked by his attorneys if he traveled to Kenosha looking for trouble, he replied that he had not. In fact, he said the Car Source owner “was happy we were there.”
If convicted, Rittenhouse could receive life in prison.