Kyle Rittenhouse’s fate may come down to a fuzzy still photo, with additional pixels and color added by prosecutors, which they hope will show the Aug. 25, 2020 shootings were all the 17-year-old’s fault.
Despite nearly two weeks of testimony showing the opposite, on Thursday, Rittenhouse’s lawyers barely objected as prosecutors were allowed to bring into evidence a photo from a drone video they said showed Rittenhouse pointing a gun at Joshua Ziminski during the Antifa/BLM riots. The video was miraculously delivered late in the trial by “the evidence fairy,” as Andrew Branca of The Law of Self-Defense characterized it.
On Friday, Team Rittenhouse figured out how big a screw-up that was.
Rittenhouse fired upon four different violent rioters when he believed his life was in imminent danger. The first time was when, testimony shows, his assailant lay in wait, chased Rittenhouse, lunged at him, and attempted to grab his rifle. The second time was when Rittenhouse shot at a man wearing boots, who kicked the teen in his face as he lay on the ground. (That shot missed.) The third time came as Rittenhouse attempted to run to the police, and he was hit, kicked, and beaten in the head with a skateboard after he fell to the ground. And the fourth time was tenths of a second later, when a protester pointed an illegal gun at Rittenhouse’s face from less than three feet away.
Anthony Huber and Joseph Rosenbaum died from their injuries, and the third man, Gaige Grosskreutz, was wounded in his outstretched arm, which held a gun poised to shoot Kyle Rittenhouse.
What would you have done?
That question became a little fuzzier on Friday. In fact, it’s about as fuzzy as the photograph that prosecutors hope to use to undermine Rittenhouse’s self-defense claim.
Rittenhouse’s obvious exercise of self-defense may make not a whit of difference by the time the jury gets the case on Monday.
The judge granted a jury instruction, to be read on Monday, allowing prosecutors to argue that Rittenhouse “provoked” the first attack on himself. Indeed, during arguments at Friday’s hearing, without the jury present, prosecutors claimed that Rittenhouse should have told an advancing Rosenbaum that he was going to leave now. “If you please, Mr. Attacker, sir!” If that argument sticks, it would negate Rittenhouse’s self-defense case.
Big win for the prosecution as the jury will be instructed it can find Rittenhouse provoked subsequent action based on the evidence presented (particularly whether he aimed a gun based on drone footage).
If found, the legal standards shift substantially against Rittenhouse. pic.twitter.com/SHyD9iU0JX
— Richard Hoeg (@HoegLaw) November 12, 2021
The person at whom prosecutors claim Rittenhouse pointed his gun was Joshua Ziminski, the man who fired the first shot, and who was with Rosenbaum, setting fires and breaking stuff. The record shows both arsonists became enraged when the police-cadet do-gooder came along with an extinguisher to put out their fires.
Related: Rittenhouse Self-Defense Case Heads to Conclusion After Defense Rests. Here’s What You Missed.
While my image was intentionally fuzzy in the blue photo to parody this debacle (in the tweet below), it’s the second photo, a formerly pixelated “close-up,” from which jurors are being asked to determine whether Rittenhouse acted in a provocative manner.
This about right? @NatetheLawyer @RekietaMedia @LawSelfDefense pic.twitter.com/feF2Dz29Aw
— Raven’s Redemption – Now Out on Audible! (@VictoriaTaft) November 12, 2021
The judge had to see the image multiple times before he allowed it into testimony.
A team of lawyers watching the trial in real time at YouTube’s Rekieta Law couldn’t believe the prosecutorial chicanery surrounding this image.
Lawyer Nick Rekieta said, “this is a critical, critical moment on the self-defense claims. If they get that provocation in there … there’s an opportunity in the mind of a juror to mitigate and say, ‘you know, he provoked this. He deserved it.’ And just having that instruction [a juror] could read into ‘he shouldn’t have been there …'”
Rittenhouse was charged initially with first-degree reckless homicide and use of a dangerous weapon for the Rosenbaum shooting, as well as reckless use of a dangerous weapon and first-degree recklessly endangering Daily Caller reporter Ritchie McGinnis. He’s also charged with two more serious first-degree counts, as well as minor in possession of a “dangerous weapon,” which the judge has been asked to drop because of the vagueness of the law.
Prosecutors successfully added more charges to the list on Friday. These were lesser charges the jurors could pick from if they didn’t like the first-degree charges initially brought. It’s now a regular buffet: jurors can pick and choose side dishes if they don’t like the main entrees on the menu.
The judge says he’ll let the attorneys know the jury instructions and remaining charges over the weekend.
As I’ve said before, and as the lead prosecutor confirmed in court, this is a political trial. It never should have been brought due to the facts of the case. But, with the woke mob fulminating and threatening more violence, it simply wasn’t not going to happen.
And here we are.
Defense may have introduced a video that contains an annotation about Kyle "possibly pointing a gun at Ziminski"
If that's true, it's grossly incompetent (like so much evidence in this case).
— Rekieta Media (@RekietaMedia) November 12, 2021
Maybe the lawyers don’t care.
After all, they don’t have to serve the time, now do they?
Kyle Rittenhouse’s lawyers took an extraordinary gamble, putting him on the stand this week. It’s believed by some that his testimony opened the door for this fuzzy photo, whose provenance and manipulation are highly suspect.
It looks like the jury will have to sort out that mess.
On Monday, they’ll get their chance.
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