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KENOSHA, WI— The judge presiding over Kyle Rittenhouse’s case agreed to include lesser charges in addition to those prosecutors originally filed against the teenager when jurors get the case Monday.
Kenosha County Circuit Court Judge Bruce Schroeder said he will allow a provocation instruction after prosecutors introduced a video where Rittenhouse can be seen pointing his rifle at Joshua Ziminski, who was with Rosenbaum when he chased Rittenhouse through a Kenosha parking lot. Schroeder’s final rulings will come Saturday.
“Rosenbaum doesn’t give up the ability to be provoked because he may have said things an hour earlier,” Kraus said, referring to the video the defense showed of Rosenbaum cursing and threatening people at a gas station.
Find out what’s happening in Mount Pleasant-Sturtevant with free, real-time updates from Patch.Your email addressLet’s go!Wisconsin law allows the prosecution and defense to ask that jurors be told they can consider lesser charges as part of the instructions they receive before deliberating the case.
Prosecutors argued that the bullets that went through Rosenbaum could have hit Richard McGinnis, a Daily Caller video producer who was following Rittenhouse and Rosenbaum.
The judge said he was in favor of approving of a second-degree reckless endangerment charge being added to one count of first-degree reckless endangerment against Rittenhouse, in regards to possibly endangering McGinnis.
Corey Chirafisi, an attorney for Rittenhouse, said that Rittenhouse would have had “utter disregard” for the safety of others if he had missed when he fired four shots, all four of which struck Rosenbaum.
“But he was using steel-jacketed ammunition,” Schroeder responded, in regards to the ammunition Rittenhouse had loaded in his AR-15-style rifle at the shooting.
Schroeder said he was inclined to agree with Kraus, who argued that those bullets could have put McGinnis in danger.
Prosecutors also wanted to introduce a first-degree recklessly endangering safety charge against Rittenhouse in the shooting of 27-year-old Gaige Grosskreutz, who was the only person to survive the shooting.
“The jury could find that [Rittenhouse] intentionally shot Mr. Grosskreutz, but didn’t intend to kill them,” Kraus said. “Though Rittenhouse didn’t intend to kill Grosskreutz, he may have still endangered his safety.”
The discussion about the new charge would continue later, Schroeder said. He said he would be inclined to agree with Kraus.
Schroeder allowed a request from the prosecution and the defense to move closing arguments and jury deliberation in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial to Monday after the defense rested its case Thursday.
Rittenhouse, 18, is charged with first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless homicide, recklessly endangering safety and possessing a weapon under 18. Rittenhouse was 17 during the fatal shooting that killed Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber, 26, and wounded 27-year-old Gaige Grosskreutz.
Attorneys for Rittenhouse, prosecutors for the state and the judge are meeting Friday without the jurors. The following is a stream from proceedings Friday:
Schroeder said Thursday he would give prosecutors and defense attorneys a two and a half hour limit to give their closing statements before jurors are sent to deliberate Monday.
“You have driven me into submission with your request to argue on Monday,” he added.
Prosecutors said that Rittenhouse couldn’t reasonably believe he was in danger at the time of the shootings. Rittenhouse testified that he fired his rifle for his own protection each time.
Rittenhouse testified that he and his friend, Dominic Black, both purchased AR-15-style rifles at a gun shop in Ladysmith, Wisconsin in 2020. Black agreed to store the rifle at his house until Rittenhouse turned 18.
Black is charged with two counts of giving a firearm to someone under 18, which is a felony, according to court documents.
Rittenhouse said he didn’t know the state law about possessing a weapon under 18 when he arrived in Kenosha with the rifle. He said he had the gun with him “as protection” as he offered medical aid to protesters in the streets of downtown Kenosha after three days of protests that included clashes with police.
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