Kyle Rittenhouse listens to his lawyers speak with the judge in his trial at Kenosha County Courthouse, Nov. 2, 2021 in Kenosha.
On Tuesday, opening arguments were held to set the stage for Kyle Rittenhouse's trial. Rittenhouse is the teenager accused of shooting and killing two people and injuring another at a Kenosha protest last year. The prosecution called Rittenhouse, now 18, an aggressor. Rittenhouse's lawyer maintains that his client acted in self defense.
Thomas Binger, Kenosha County Circuit Judge Assistant District Attorney, said Rittenhouse was among the armed "tourists", who were attracted "like moths and a flame" to the civil unrest in the area that erupted after the August 2020 shooting of a Black man.
Binger stated that "But of the hundreds that came to Kenosha that week, and the hundreds that were on the streets that weekend, the evidence will prove that the defendant was the only one that killed anyone." "I ask that you keep this in mind as we look at the reasonableness of defendants actions.
Mark Richards, Rittenhouse's lawyer, countered the prosecution in his opening statements. He claimed that Rittenhouse only acted out of fear for his own life.
"Ultimately, this case won't come down to a whodunit, when-did it-happen or any other type of mystery. It's: Were Kyle Rittenhouse’s actions protected by the law of self defense? Richards stated.
On Aug. 23, 2020, violence broke out in Kenosha as a result of Jacob Blake, a 29-year old Black man, being shot in the back while walking to his car by police. Blake was shot in the back by police while walking to his car. He was seen with three of his children.
Rittenhouse was 17 when he allegedly shot and killed Joseph Rosenbaum (36), and Anthony Huber (26), and injured Gaige Grosskreutz (27) two days later. Rittenhouse is also accused of recklessly putting at risk the lives of Richard McGinnis, Daily Caller reporter.
Rittenhouse was charged with two counts first-degree murder, one count attempted homicide and one count recklessly endangering safety. He also faces one count each of possessing a dangerous weapon by someone under 18. He has pleaded guilty. He could get life imprisonment if convicted of first-degree murder.
The New Yorker and the Associated Press have both noted that the Rittenhouse case has sparked a culture war in America. Many on the right see Rittenhouse as a patriot who exercised Second Amendment rights and acted to defend Kenosha against violent protesters. Trump addressed the shooting during his 2020 campaign and said that Rittenhouse "probably would have died" if he had not taken action.