News & Politics

Rittenhouse Defense Team Implodes Hours Before Jury Selection

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, Pool

Mere hours before jury selection began in the self-defense trial of Kyle Rittenhouse in Kenosha, Wisconsin, a key defense attorney who put together a “dream team” of jury selection experts announced he was off the case. Robert Barnes says the change in the defense team means someone is “deliberately sabotaging Kyle’s defense.”

Kyle Rittenhouse is the 17-year-old who shot three people, two of whom died, at the Kenosha riots in August of 2020. He claims the shootings were in self-defense.

PJ Media will provide daily coverage of the trial.

After eight months of affiliation with the Rittenhouse case, Barnes, a nationally acclaimed defense attorney, said lead attorney Mark Richards won’t share jury information or allow any of Barnes’s 20-person team of experts into the courtroom to observe the jury selection.

Barnes says he was promised that he and his team would be involved in the actual jury selection. The team includes Barnes’s hand-picked “multiple body language people, multiple data people” and jury selection experts.

Related: Rittenhouse Trial: Judge Rules Defense Can Call Teen’s Kenosha Attackers ‘Rioters’ and ‘Looters’

Barnes alluded to trouble on the defense team during an interview earlier in the week but confirmed in a Sunday night livestream that he is now officially off the team.

On Tuesday I’m told – I’m in Kenosha, a bunch of other people are in Kenosha, people are on their way to Kenosha that the local attorney, Mark Richards, not only won’t share the information we need to aid in jury selection, but won’t even allow anybody even in the courtroom to assist with jury selection. Won’t even allow it. There was no requirement that he take any of the advice being given, but he won’t even allow the advice to be given or the information to be provided.

And there was plenty of information.

I extensively polled Kenosha out of my own pocket, so we knew which questions to ask, which information to look for, provided that – there was about 17 key data points. I have no idea whether he’ll use any of it.

Experienced use-of-force experts believe this is a clear-cut case of self-defense. But Barnes says there’s a major PR battle being waged outside the courtroom which could change everything. Barnes says his polling found that 2/3 of the people in Kenosha think Rittenhouse is guilty of the six major charges against him. He’s worried about the tainted jury pool that could railroad the case, as happened in the hyper-political Chauvin trial in Minneapolis.

The Rittenhouse trial begins tomorrow with jury selection, which is what Barnes was to be involved in.

Let’s hope his key attorney knows what he’s doing.