Prosecution rests its case against Kyle Rittenhouse after jury hears gruesome autopsy results

KENOSHA (Wis.) -- Tuesday's testimony from a pair witnesses may have helped the prosecution prove Kyle Rittenhouse more than the eyewitnesses who gave chilling accounts of the carnage that they witnessed on Aug. 25, 2020.
Rittenhouse, 18 years old, is charged with attempted, reckless, and intentional homicide after he shot three men in violent protests in this Wisconsin city that night.

The defense claimed Rittenhouse acted in self defence. Cellphone video and testimony from other participants were not helpful during the first five days.

Even state witnesses confirmed that Rittenhouse's victim had been acting aggressively and erratically throughout the night and had threatened to kill at one point. Rittenhouse was also armed with a gun and pointed it at Rittenhouse before shooting him in the arm.

A new drone video and the explanation of gunshot wounds by a medical examiner Tuesday shed light on the first murder just before the prosecution was over at noon.

James Armstrong from the State Crime Lab points out a drone video that he digitally increased during Kyle Rittenhouse’s trial at Kenosha County Courthouse, Nov. 9, 2021 in Kenosha.

James Armstrong, a Wisconsin Crime Lab forensic imaging specialist, presented aerial drone video from the area just south of Sheridan Road/63rd Street. After a brief chase, Rittenhouse, 36, was able to kill Joseph Rosenbaum.

The majority of other video jurors who have witnessed the event up until now came from the ground or from an FBI plane at nearly 9,000 feet above the scene.

The video of Tuesday shows Rittenhouse not stopping between the two cars where Rosenbaum was being shot. Rosenbaum doesn't appear to be as close as Rittenhouse as testimony and videos suggest, but he did seem to gain speed on Rittenhouse.

Armstrong stated that he zoomed in on the footage and slowed it down over the weekend.

How it happened: A visual timeline showing violence in Kenosha following the shooting of Jacob Blake by police

Doug Kelley, a Milwaukee assistant medical examiner, was also presented to jurors.

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He performed autopsies on Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber. Rittenhouse fatally shot him a few moments later.

Rosenbaum sustained five injuries from four shots by Rittenhouse's assault rifle.

Rosenbaum was broken by one shot to his pelvis. One bullet struck Rosenbaum's forehead, from the top of his head to his right forehead.

One shot hit Rosenbaum's back in the middle, causing severe damage to his liver and lungs. It also fractured several ribs. Kelley stated that one shot passed through Rosenbaum’s left hand and likely ricocheted off of the pavement. It then struck Rosenbaum's thigh.

Based on the injuries, angles, and video of the incident, Kelley testified that the first shot was made to Rosenbaum's groin about four feet away. He may have tried to push the muzzle of his rifle away with his hand. The second shot was to his right hand.

He said that Rosenbaum had reached horizontal position and the fatal shot to his back. However, he did not have any opinion on their order.

Kelley stated that all shots except the one to the hand were likely fired at intermediate range, with the muzzle approximately 1 to 4 feet away from Rosenbaum.

According to defense counsel, Rosenbaum lunged at Rittenhouse after sprinting across the Car Source parking lot. He then tried to disarm Rittenhouse and shoot him with his weapon.

Kenosha Police Department Detective Mark Richards assists Mark Richards, left, Kyle Rittenhouse's lead attorney. Ben Antaramian shows how Joseph Rosenbaum could be shot in the hand of Rittenhouse. Douglas Kelley (center), a forensic pathologist from the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office testifies at Kenosha County Courthouse, Nov. 9, 2021 in Kenosha.

As a detective in the case, Mark Richards, defense attorney, performed an elaborate demonstration before the jury during cross-examination. He was moving in different directions with his left hand, either over or close to the barrel.

Judge Bruce Schroeder requested that news photographers come forward to take photos for the court record.

Kelley's story is correct. Rittenhouse struck Rosenbaum twice before firing his lethal shot in the back.

The state ended its case with the testimony of the witnesses. Defense began Tuesday afternoon.

Nicholas Smith, 23 years old, testified that he worked at Car Source and knew the owners for over 10 years. After arsonists had destroyed one of the three locations of Car Source during the Kenosha riots, Smith said that one of them called him to ask for his assistance in protecting the business.

Anmol "Sam", Khindri, had promised him money to help Smith recruit people for the job. But Khindri never paid them. Khindri, his brother Sahil and their respective fathers, testified last week that they never asked for protection nor knowingly accepted it.

Smith stated that after setting out fires at Car Source in August 24, Smith contacted three of his friends to ask them if they would be willing to stand guard at the shop on the 25th. He said that he saw Dominick Black downtown on Snapchat one afternoon. Smith requested a ride to obtain body armor. He met Black and Rittenhouse who gave him their own armor. Smith invited Black and Rittenhouse to join him that night.

Smith claimed they were there with Sahil Khindri when four people pulled up from the West Bend area to assist. Smith stated that they were willing to guard Car Source.

Ryan Balch and Jason Lackowski, two of those in that group, testified for the prosecution last week. JoAnn Fiedler (56), was called by defense to testify on Tuesday.

JoAnn Fielder testified that she was part the group that included Kyle Rittenhouse and that protected Car Source on Aug. 25, 2020, during Rittenhouse’s trial at Kenosha County Courthouse on November 9, 20,21 in Kenosha.

Fiedler stated that she had been following the news throughout the summer and understood why people would march to support Black Lives Matter. She started a patriots organization after the marches turned violent and destructive. Balch was there.

She testified that "somebody has to stand up"

She stated that there was no plan other than to arrive in Kenosha to protect homes and businesses and that Rittenhouse's group was just a chance meeting.

Fiedler had her.380 caliber handgun openly carried on her hip by Fiedler as deterrence.

She said that Rosenbaum threatened to kill her group while she was standing outside Car Source on 59th Street. But she and the rest of the group ignored him.

Fiedler stated that Rittenhouse shot three people, then walked past officers. He returned to 59th Street and Fiedler opened the door for Rittenhouse to enter.

Fiedler described him as in shock and said that he repeated his claim that he had shot someone and that he had to do so. Fiedler stated that she took her rifle outside and laid it down on the roof. She then told Black and the other survivors what had happened.

Schroeder also denied Tuesday's defense motion to dismiss the misdemeanor charge Rittenhouse illegally possess a firearm as minor. However, he agreed to drop the curfew violation ticket.

Contact Bruce Vielmetti at (414) 224-2187 or Follow him @ProofHearsay on Twitter.

This article first appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Kyle Rittenhouse trial: Defense opens case, prosecution rests