Salem Radio Network News Monday, December 6, 2021

U.S.

Factbox-Key moments from closing arguments in Rittenhouse murder trial in Wisconsin

KENOSHA, Wis. (Reuters) -Prosecutors argued in closing arguments on Monday that teenager Kyle Rittenhouse provoked the events that led to him shooting three men, two of them fatally, during racial justice protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin last year.

In his summation, Rittenhouse’s defense attorney told jurors his client was attacked by rioters and acted in self-defense because he feared for his life.

Rittenhouse faces five charges including first-degree intentional homicide. After nearly two weeks of an occasionally tense trial, Rittenhouse’s fate will be put in the hands of the jury after closing arguments.

Here are some key quotes and moments from Monday:

DEFENSE:

– Rittenhouse’s attorney Mike Richards described Joseph Rosenbaum, one of the two people the teenager shot and killed, as a “bad man” and a “rioter.” “This case is not a game, it’s my client’s life,” Richards told jurors. “We don’t play fast and loose with the facts pretending that Mr. Rosenbaum was Citizen A, No. 1 guy.”

– Richards took aim at the strategy adopted by the prosecution in its closing statements. “When his case explodes in his face, now he comes out with provocation,” Richards said of prosecutor Thomas Binger’s argument that Rittenhouse provoked the events of that night by brandishing his weapon. “Provocation, I don’t think so.”

– “Kyle was a 17-year-old kid out there trying to help this community,” Richards said. Seeking to bring back into focus the defense’s argument that Rittenhouse was attacked and acted in self-defense, Richards said, “When my client shot Joseph Rosenbaum, he feared for his life. He feared because of the prior threats, the prior statements and the violent acts that had been witnessed by my client.”

– “It’s a tough choice but the evidence only leads to one conclusion,” Richards said as he concluded his speech. “That is that Kyle Rittenhouse’s conduct on August 25 was privileged based upon the actions of Mr. Rosenbaum and others. There are no winners in this case but putting Kyle Rittenhouse down for something he was privileged to do will serve no legitimate purpose.”

PROSECUTION:

– Binger, who is Kenosha County assistant district attorney, told the jury, “This is a case in which a 17-year-old teenager killed two unarmed men and severely wounded a third person with an AR-15. This isn’t a situation where he was protecting his home or his family. He killed people after traveling here from Antioch, Illinois, and staying out after a citywide curfew.”

– Binger argued that Rittenhouse provoked Rosenbaum, 36, by raising his rifle. “That is what provokes this entire incident,” he told jurors. “If you are the one who is threatening others, you lose the right to self-defense.”

– Binger argued that Rittenhouse lied when he said that night that Rosenbaum had pulled a gun, a statement that was captured on a video played for the court. “Joseph Rosenbaum didn’t have a gun, the defendant knew he didn’t have a gun,” he said. “The defendant is lying to save his own skin instead of going and trying to help the person that he has just shot and killed.”

– Binger called Rittenhouse a “fraud” for claiming that he was there as a medic to provide first-aid. “This AR-15 is completely incompatible with the role of a medic,” he said, noting the rifle was loaded with full metal jacket bullets, which are designed to penetrate their target.

– Binger showed the jury a graphic image of Gaige Grosskreutz with a large chunk of his right arm missing as a result of a bullet shot at close range by Rittenhouse. Grosskreutz survived the shooting. “When you fire an AR-15 at someone from close range, this is what it looks like,” Binger said. “Let’s not flinch away from this.”

(Reporting by Maria Caspani and Nathan Layne; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Cynthia Osterman)

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