NOTE: NBC Chicago will provide a live feed from the courtroom as available throughout the trial. Watch live in the player above. Warning that some of the content and images shown during the trial may be graphic and disturbing for some viewers.
The defense will continue calling witnesses in Kyle Rittenhouse’s murder trial Thursday, one day after what arguably became the biggest moment in court as the Illinois teen took the stand himself.
Rittenhouse testified before a jury Wednesday about the moments he opened fire on three people during unrest in Kenosha, growing so emotional at times that the judge in the case called for a break.
But Rittenhouse won’t be the final witness in his own defense.
His attorneys said they will likely call three more witnesses to the stand, and the judge in the case indicated that the expectation is that the jury will be able to begin deliberations on Monday.
Rittenhouse, now 18, killed two men and wounded a third during a night of turbulent demonstrations against racial injustice in Kenosha in the summer of 2020.
The former police youth cadet from Antioch, Illinois, had gone to Kenosha with an AR-style semi-automatic rifle and a medical kit in what he said was an effort to protect property from the damaging protests that broke out over the shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, by a white Kenosha police officer.
While Rittenhouse is white, as were those he shot, the case has stirred debate over vigilantism, the right to bear arms and the unrest that erupted around the U.S. that summer over the killing of George Floyd and other police violence against Black people.
Wisconsin’s self-defense law allows someone to use deadly force only if “necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm.” The jury must decide whether Rittenhouse believed he was in such peril and whether that belief was reasonable under the circumstances.
LIVE COVERAGE: A live feed of Kyle Rittenhouse’s murder trial is available when court is in session.
Here are the latest updates as the case unfolds before the jury. (This will be updated as the trial resumes Thursday)
— First witness today is Dr. John Black, an expert on police use of force. He also claims to be an expert when it comes to examining video evidence.
The prosecution is objecting to the scope of his proposed testimony arguing it will be beyond the scope of the terms previously agreed to by both sides.
Judge seems inclined to accept the broader scope of his testimony.
— Judge admits he was confused yesterday and thought it was Thursday. That means the trial could end as early as Friday.
— The defense team says it will likely call three more witnesses to the stand, and the judge in the case indicated that the expectation is that the jury will be able to begin deliberations on Monday.
There had been brief discussion of working through the weekend to wrap up the trial, but the prosecution indicated a desire to finish closing arguments on Monday in the case.
— Kyle Rittenhouse’s testimony has wrapped up after prosecutors concluded their cross-examination Wednesday afternoon.
Prosecutors showed several videos, asking Rittenhouse to detail several actions he undertook both leading up to, and following, the shootings. Prosecutors also pressed Rittenhouse on why he didn’t render first aid to any of the individuals that were shot, with Rittenhouse saying that he still felt threatened and felt he had to flee the scene to escape imminent danger.
After Rittenhouse’s testimony, the defense is expected to call an expert on police use of force to the stand.
— The trial is taking a brief break after a discussion between the prosecution and judge over the reliability of images and videos after using the “pinch and zoom” function on an iPad.
Prosecutor Thomas Binger wants to use video to cross-examine Rittenhouse, which depicts aerial video of the shooting scene.
The defense is objecting to this, saying that using the “pinch and zoom” function on such a video would alter the video by inserting additional pixels.
The judge has asked the prosecution to find an expert that can testify as to the reliability of pinched and zoomed video. The prosecution asked for court to be adjourned so such an expert could be found, but the judge did not grant that request.
— Under cross examination, Rittenhouse talks about trying to get back to his friends at the Car Source store where he felt safe.
He denies that the crowd was hostile to him prior to the shootings.
Binger still being watched by the prosecution and the judge after his previous rebuke. At one point, Judge Schroeder cautions him: “don’t get brazen with me, you know very well an attorney can’t go into these areas when a judge has already ruled.”
Rittenhouse says he brought his gun along for protection, but he didn’t think he would have to use it.
— Defense motion for a mistrial with prejudice over what appeared to be out-of-bounds questions asked of Rittenhouse by the chief prosecutor.
Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder did not immediately rule on the request but was clearly angry at the prosecution, telling Thomas Binger: “When you say that that you were acting in good faith, I don’t believe that.”
Rittenhouse attorney Mark Richards suggested Binger might be attempting to provoke a mistrial. The defense asked for a mistrial with prejudice, meaning that if it is granted, Rittenhouse cannot be retried in the shootings.