The Rittenhouse case has had a lot of dramatic moments. But these are the 8 bombshell moments for the defense in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial. They sank the state’s case.
In each instance, they demolished the state’s most serious charges: First-degree reckless homicide in the death of Joseph Rosenbaum; first-degree intentional homicide in the death of Anthony Huber, and attempted first-degree intentional homicide in the wounding of Gaige P. Grosskreutz. For good measure, they also torpedoed the first-degree recklessly endangering charges against Daily Caller video editor Richie McGinniss and the unidentified man known in court as “jump kick” man.
That leaves the lone charge of possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under age 18. But that’s only a misdemeanor punishable by up to nine months in prison. It also leaves a “failure to comply with an emergency management order of state or local government” count (curfew), but that’s only a citation that carries no jail time (and it seems like selective prosecution besides.)
The entire prosecution case has been a train wreck in search of a theory. What’s the prosecution’s theory that it’s NOT self defense? They haven’t articulated it, and that’s a big problem. The case should never have been charged. The only wild card that remains is whether the jury will decide on fear or emotion, as opposed to the law and established fact. That’s always a possibility, of course. But if they go with the law…
These 8 moments stood out. Usually, bombshell moments in a trial are the domain of movies or limited to one dramatic showdown. In this case, there have been multiple bombshell moments, and that was before we got to the defense presentation (and Kyle breaking down on the stand).
1. Gaige Grosskreutz Admits Pointing His Gun at Rittenhouse as His Bicep ‘Vaporized’
Grosskreutz, the only man to survive being shot by Rittenhouse, shredded the prosecution’s case when the defense got him to admit that he was pointing his loaded gun at Rittenhouse and advancing toward him when he was shot in close proximity.
Especially since Rittenhouse had fallen and was sitting on the ground in the more vulnerable position, it’s hard to see how that’s not self-defense. The slimy Grosskreutz came across like a snake on the stand who wasn’t forthcoming to police about that weapon, and who was carrying it concealed without a permit, which is a violation of state law. But Grosskreutz himself handed the defense its case.
The defense showed the jury a photo of the moment Grosskreutz’s bicep “vaporized.” He was standing 3-5 feet away from Rittenhouse, and the gun is clearly in his hand.
The big moment:
Defense attorney: “You would agree your firearm is pointed at Mr. Rittenhouse correct?”
Defense: “Once your firearm is pointed at Mr. Rittenhouse, that’s when he fires his gun, yes?”
Defense: “Sir, look…Does this look like right now your arm is being shot?”
Grosskreutz: “That looks like my bicep being vaporized yes.”
Defense: “It’s being vaporized because you’re pointing a gun directly at him, yes?”
Defense: “When you’re standing 3-5 feet from him with your arms up in the air he never fired. Right?”
Defense: “It wasn’t until you pointed your gun at him, advanced on him with your gun, now your hands down, pointed at him, that he fired, right?”
2. Richie McGinniss Demonstrates in Court How Rosenbaum Was Lunging for Rittenhouse’s Gun
Courtroom demonstrations have a way of going sideways for prosecutors. Remember OJ being asked to try on the glove? The courtroom demonstration by Richie McGinniss was devastating for the state in the Rittenhouse case.
Richie McGinniss, a journalist, was the only eyewitness close enough to see what happened in the second before Rittenhouse shot Joseph Rosenbaum.
There’s video in that first shooting death too, but it’s grainier and from a distance. So what McGinniss saw is key, if not everything.
And what he said torpedoed the state’s case.
McGinniss testified that Rosenbaum, who was chasing Rittenhouse, “lunged” for Rittenhouse’s gun and “threw his momentum toward the weapon.”
“It was very clear to me that he (Rosenbaum) was reaching specifically for the weapon because that’s where his hands went,” McGinniss testified. He then stood up in the courtroom, putting both of his hands out, and demonstrated the lunge. He said Rosenbaum was in an “athletic position” as if he was “running as fast as he could.” The rifle was aimed lower than Rosenbaum’s hands, which were also going lower. Rittenhouse “dodged around it,” and then leveled the weapon and fired, he testified.
The prosecutor tried to get McGinniss to say maybe Rosenbaum was falling from being shot instead of lunging, but he just repeated that he thought Rosenbaum was lunging and trying to get the gun.
3. Grosskreutz Proves Rittenhouse Acted in Self-Defense Against Anthony Huber
Good old Gaige Grosskreutz. For all of his subtle sniping at the defense, and refusal to admit obvious points (his twisted semantics on whether he was chasing Rittenhouse, for example), he handed the defense its self-defense argument in the Anthony Huber death.
That’s because Grosskreutz admitted that even he feared for RITTENHOUSE’S safety because Huber was 1) hitting Rittenhouse with a skateboard and 2) “wrestling” for Rittenhouse’s gun.
If even Grosskreutz feared for Rittenhouse’s safety at the hands of Huber, why shouldn’t Rittenhouse have reasonably feared for his own safety? And that’s the test for self-defense.
4. A Photo Shows Huber Got His Hand on Rittenhouse’s Gun
In opening statements, the defense presented a screenshot that proved Huber got a hand on Rittenhouse’s gun. That’s a big deal because the defense is arguing he was trying to disarm him.
Video also shows Huber attacking Rittenhouse and hitting him with a skateboard, but this photo, zoomed in, was very damning.
The Huber case seems the most clear-cut for self defense of them all. And that’s saying a lot.
5. Videos Show Rosenbaum Chasing Rittenhouse
There are THREE videos that, while grainy and from a distance, clearly establish that Rosenbaum was chasing Rittenhouse, not the other way around, when Rittenhouse fired. That’s huge.
A new video was played in court on Nov. 9, 2021, that shows this chase closer up. It shows Rosenbaum closing in.
And here’s the next portion of that showing the moment Rittenhouse shot and killed Joseph Rosenbaum #RittenhouseTrial pic.twitter.com/WnlnMQ88BW
— Andrew Havranek (@Andrew_Havranek) November 9, 2021
One video was taken by a citizen, and one was an infrared video taken by an FBI spy plane. This is key because it harms the prosecution’s ability to argue that Rittenhouse provoked the attack, which would give him an extra hurdle to prove self defense (he’d have to show he exhausted all avenues for escape.) Instead, he was being chased down and then, according to McGinniss, cornered in a “dead end.”
6. The Dramatic Photo Showing ‘Jump Kick Man’ Attacking Rittenhouse
Remember Rittenhouse is charged with endangering Jump Kick man’s safety. Photographic evidence shows it’s the other way around. Jump Kick man attacked Rittenhouse first, likely increasing his fear, before Huber and then Grosskreutz moved in next. He’s never been identified.
The star witnesses have been video and the photos/screenshots that show Rittenhouse under attack from a mob. There’s no image more dramatic than Jump Kick Man’s leap. The only weird thing is that he’s never been identified.
7. Rosenbaum Made a Threat to Kill Rittenhouse, Testimony Showed
Witness Ryan Balch, a combat veteran hanging around Rittenhouse that night, testified that an agitated Rosenbaum threatened to kill him and Rittenhouse before he chased down Rittenhouse.
The second defense witness is a woman who was hanging out with Rittenhouse and helping protect businesses. She stated that Rosenbaum said he would “Kill you motherf***ers” and used the N word to the group there to protect businesses and said he would cut their “hearts out.” (On the witness stand, Rittenhouse testified that Rosenbaum threatened him twice before the shooting.)
For good measure, the video showing Rosenbaum using the N word and telling someone to shoot him hurt the prosecution case too by showing it was Rosenbaum who was belligerent and agitated that night, not Rittenhouse.
Rosenbaum, the first man shot, is the least sympathetic character in all of this, and, since that chase ignited the entire thing, that’s a big deal.
8. The Medical Examiner’s Hand Testimony
The medical examiner, Dr. Doug Kelley, testified that Rosenbaum was four feet away or closer to Kyle Rittenhouse when Rittenhouse first shot him, in the hip.
The second shot, much less than a second later, hit Rosenbaum in the hand. Kelley said the hand was either in contact with the barrel of Rittenhouse’s gun or very close to it. He also testified that this was consistent with Rosenbaum lunging. He testified that the third and fourth wounds came when Rosenbaum was horizontal in a Superman-like position.