Kyle Rittenhouse’s defense attorneys asked the judge Wednesday to declare a mistrial, arguing that they did not receive the same quality of key drone video as the prosecution.
Defense attorney Corey Chirafisi said they initially received a compressed version of a drone video that state prosecutors showed to jurors during closing arguments.
Prosecutors say it showed Rittenhouse pointing his gun at anti-racism protesters before being hunted down by Joseph Rosenbaum, the first man he shot and killed during a night of racial injustice riots in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last August. in which Rittenhouse eventually shot three people. killing two and wounding one.
“The idea that the state would provide lower quality footage and then use that footage as a hub in their case and is the same reason why they requested and were granted the provocative instruction by the court. Failure to provide images of the same quality in this particular case is intentional and clearly harms the defendant, “said the movement read.
Rittenhouse, 18, faces life in prison if convicted of the most serious charges he faces. The trial has divided both Kenosha and the US, as Rittenhouse has embraced as a heroic vigilante by conservatives, while others point to the wildly different experience the armed white militia supporter received from law enforcement in compared to anti-racist protesters.
Rittenhouse testified that he acted in self-defense, while prosecutors argued that he provoked the violence.
Jurors were weighing the charges against Rittenhouse for a second day Wednesday after failing to reach a quick verdict Tuesday on whether he was the instigator of the bloodshed or a concerned citizen who was attacked while trying to protect property.
Judge Bruce Schroeder did not immediately rule on the new request to vacate the trial, which came after jurors deliberating for the second day in Rittenhouse’s murder trial asked to review the video evidence. Schroeder allowed the jury to enter the courtroom to view videos Wednesday afternoon, while requesting everyone else to leave the courtroom.
The mistrial without prejudice is the second request for a mistrial in the highly contentious case in which Rittenhouse is charged with reckless manslaughter and intentional manslaughter after he shot and wounded two men in Kenosha. Last week, the defense requested that the trial be vacated with bias on what appeared to be off-limits questions the prosecution asked Rittenhouse.
Unlike a mistrial without prejudice, a mistrial with prejudice means that, if granted, Rittenhouse cannot be tried again in shootings.
Chirafisi said they didn’t get the same quality of footage until after the evidentiary portion of the case was closed. He said that if we need a “fair and equitable playing field, we have to ask for it. And I’m asking for it. “
Prosecutors rejected, arguing that the jury saw the highest quality version of the images throughout the trial. “We are focusing too much on a technological glitch,” said prosecutor James Kraus, adding that it is not the prosecutors’ fault that the file was compressed when received by the defense.
He went on to add that the video is key because the prosecution argues that it proves that Rittenhouse lied on the stand when he said he did not point his rifle at the protesters.
The jury’s deliberation continues.
Associated Press contributed to this report.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism