WATCH: Kyle Rittenhouse testifies in his homicide trial


KENOSHA, Wis. (NewsNation Now) — Kyle Rittenhouse will take the stand Wednesday during the second week of testimony in his homicide trial. Rittenhouse shot three men, killing two of them and wounding the third, during a protest against police brutality in Kenosha last year.

Rittenhouse, now 18, has argued that he fired in self-defense after the men attacked him. Tuesday’s testimony revealed that Rittenhouse was badly shaken after shooting the men during street unrest in Kenosha, at one point telling a person who had joined him in an effort to protect businesses from damaging protesters that, “My life might be over.”

“He repeats, ‘I just shot someone’ over and over, and I believe at some point he said he had to shoot someone,” testified Nicholas Smith, who was alongside Rittenhouse at a car dealership in August 2020 and was the first witness called by his defense team.

Another witness in Rittenhouse’s group, JoAnn Fiedler, described him as pale, shaking, sweating and stammering after the shootings.

“My god, my life might be over,” Fiedler quoted Rittenhouse as saying. She said he didn’t give any details about what happened but told her he “had to do it.”

Rittenhouse brought a semi-automatic rifle to a protest against police brutality in downtown Kenosha in August 2020. The city was in the throes of several nights of chaotic demonstrations that began after a white Kenosha police officer shot Jacob Blake, who is Black, while responding to a domestic disturbance.

Rittenhouse shot and killed Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber and wounded Gaige Grosskreutz in the arm. Prosecutors have charged him with multiple counts, including first-degree intentional homicide, which carries a mandatory life sentence.

The prosecution rested Tuesday after introducing drone video that offered jurors a new view of Rittenhouse’s fatal shooting of Joseph Rosenbaum — the event that sent Rittenhouse hurrying away from the scene, quickly pursued by other protesters who sought to stop him.

The jury watched as the drone video was zoomed in and slowed down to show Rosenbaum following Rittenhouse, and then Rittenhouse wheeling around and shooting Rosenbaum at close range. A pathologist testified that Rosenbaum had soot injuries that could indicate he had his hand over the barrel of Rittenhouse’s rifle.

But it was unclear from video footage whether Rosenbaum was grabbing for Rittenhouse’s gun or trying to swat it away, said the witness, Dr. Doug Kelley of the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Fiedler was with Rittenhouse outside the car dealership just before the first shooting and said they were being shouted at and taunted by protesters, including Rosenbaum. But Fiedler, who said she carried a pistol, testified she never saw Rittenhouse threaten or point his gun at anyone.

“The whole night was quite shocking, but we didn’t really do anything,” Fiedler said of the yelling directed at those guarding the store. “We just kind of stood there. You have to ignore that.”

Fiedler said she later opened the door of the dealership for Rittenhouse after the shootings, and he appeared to be “totally in shock” and fell into her, telling her he had shot someone.

Last week, witnesses testified that Rosenbaum, 36, was “hyperaggressive” and “acting belligerently” that night and threatened to kill Rittenhouse at one point. One witness said Rosenbaum was gunned down after chasing Rittenhouse and lunging for his rifle.

To win an acquittal on self-defense grounds, defendants must show that they reasonably believed their lives were in danger and that they used the appropriate amount of force. The jury must decide whether Rittenhouse believed he was in such peril and whether that belief was reasonable under the circumstances.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Local News

More Local News

News Highlights

Don't Miss

Event Calendar