News & Politics

Prosecution Tips Hand, Plans to Depict Rittenhouse Attacker as 'Hero.' That Turns Out to Be a Problem.

Mark Hertzberg /Pool Photo via AP

Prosecutors arguing to put Kyle Rittenhouse in prison for the rest of his life tipped their hand on how they plan to do that in the fourth day of testimony on Friday. Questions abound, however, about its relevance and admissibility in court.

Rittenhouse could spend life in prison for killing two men, Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber, and wounding a third, Gaige Grosskreutz, during the Kenosha, Wisconsin riots on August 25, 2020. Rittenhouse claims self-defense in all three shootings, parts of which were recorded or live-streamed. Prosecutors even shared clips from FBI surveillance recordings from a fixed wing spy plane flying above the melee.

The city core erupted into flames as BLM and Antifa, some of whom came from the all over the country, created chaos in Kenosha after the shooting of Jacob Blake.

Among those answering the call to protect businesses, specifically Car Source car lots, was Kyle Rittenhouse (pictured below along with two of his friends and several others). Rittenhouse, a life guard with some medical training, came to help give first aid to anyone who needed it.

During the testimony of Anthony Huber’s great-aunt, Susan Hughes, the prosecution attempted to have her tell a story about a time when Huber “ran into danger.” Rittenhouse attorneys objected that the story was inadmissible because of a rule about habit and custom evidence. The jury was abruptly sent out after prosecutors complained about the judge sustaining the objection.

In arguments over the issue, Assistant District Attorney Jim Kraus gave away the prosecution’s play book. It’s a narrative that has little to do with the law and plenty to do with woke politics, P.R., and the erosion of self-defense.

Related: Rittenhouse Defense Suggests Kenosha DA Colluded With Detective to Hide Cell Phone Evidence Taken by Wounded Man

Kraus argued that he wanted the aunt to tell a story about Huber’s attempt to “save” his family from an impending explosion. He said it should be allowed because the prosecution intended to weave a narrative about Huber’s heroism the night of the shootings. Indeed, Kraus said he planned to tell the jury that Huber was a “hero” for attacking Rittenhouse because of his possible belief that Rittenhouse was an active shooter. No one knows, nor has evidence been put forward, about Huber’s motive for attacking Rittenhouse. The prosecution will argue that Huber was provoked to beat Rittenhouse with his skateboard because of the first shooting of Joseph Rosenbaum.

The defense argues that Rittenhouse was pursued by Huber, beaten with a skateboard by Huber as he lay on the ground, and then, when Huber attempted to take the then 17-year-old’s rifle, Rittenhouse fired it, killing Huber. They contend that Huber was the aggressor in the situation, which must be present in a case of self-defense.

The prosecution was trying to bring in evidence in support of Huber’s custom of being a “hero” with noble intentions, because he was such a stand up guy.

The judge said he’d allow the testimony and the defense could respond. And the defense said, great, we’re going to tell the story about that cool time when Huber held a knife to his brother’s neck and stomach and threatened to gut him, the time he strangled someone, and the time he threatened to burn the house down with all his family members inside. Good times.

Indeed, there’s plenty to bring up about the “habit and custom” of Anthony Huber.

Here’s part of his rap sheet, a record which likely will never see the inside of a courtroom.

The prosecution ultimately chose not to introduce the story about Huber’s heroism in that instance.

The issue that matters in court is the part where the armed Rittenhouse is chased, jumped, kicked in the head, knocked down, then set upon by a guy with a skateboard. He feared for his life and acted accordingly. Legal expert on self-defense law Andrew Branca says Rittenhouse didn’t know the motives of his attacker. All Rittenhouse knew was that Huber wanted to hurt or kill him.