Kyle Rittenhouse breaks down crying on stand in murder trial, judge declares recess

Kyle Rittenhouse broke down on the stand and sobbed loudly while testifying at his homicide trial Wednesday, a scene that led to the judge declaring a break for the 18-year-old accused murderer to compose himself.

A day after the prosecution rested its case, the defense called the defendant to the stand to testify on his own behalf. Rittenhouse said he was walking with a fire extinguisher toward the parking lot of a local business to put out a fire when he heard someone scream, “Burn in hell!”

“I replied with ‘Friendly, friendly, friendly!’ to let them know I’m just here to help,” he said. “The person that attacked me first threatened to kill me twice,” Rittenhouse went onto say. 

Shortly after that, Rittenhouse said, Joseph Rosenbaum, a protester who Rittenhouse said had verbally threatened him earlier in the evening, came running toward him, while another protester, Joshua Zaminsky, approached with a gun and told Rosenbaum, “Get him — kill him!”

Rittenhouse’s face became red as he choked back tears, explaining that he tried to run but was “cornered” by the two men. He said that Rosenbaum, who was unarmed, threw what he now knows was a plastic hospital bag toward him, but at the time, Rittenhouse said he thought it looked like a metal chain he’d seen Rosenbaum carrying around earlier in the night.

Rittenhouse said he pointed his gun at Rosenbaum while continuing to run but that the protester was not deterred and lunged at him with arms outstretched, grabbing the barrel of his gun as someone else fired a shot “directly behind me.”

He then shot Rosenbaum four times. He said he initially attempted to help him but was “in shock” and, with someone else tending to Rosenbaum, decided that “the safest option” was to turn himself in to the police.

“I didn’t do anything wrong. I defended myself,” he said. Rittenhouse said that as he ran toward the police, “there was a crowd, not a crowd, a mob chasing me.” Rittenhouse is facing several charges, including first-degree reckless homicide.




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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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