Kyle Rittenhouse Testimony: Key Takeaways

Mr. Rittenhouse began his testimony speaking in a clear and confident tone. But later, he began to sob loudly.,

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Key takeaways from the start of Kyle Rittenhouse’s testimony.

Nov. 10, 2021, 11:43 a.m. ET

Nov. 10, 2021, 11:43 a.m. ET

By Dan Hinkel

Kyle Rittenhouse, left, points to an overhead view of part of downtown Kenosha as he testifies at his trial.
Kyle Rittenhouse, left, points to an overhead view of part of downtown Kenosha as he testifies at his trial.Credit…Pool photo by Mark Hertzberg

When Kyle Rittenhouse took the stand at his homicide trial Wednesday, he told the court that he was not looking for trouble on Aug. 25, 2020, when he went to Kenosha, Wis., and shot three men.

Lawyers for Mr. Rittenhouse, who faces a possible life sentence if convicted on the most serious of the six charges against him, are arguing that he fired in self-defense.

Here are some key points from his testimony so far:

  • One of the first questions from Mark Richards, his lead defense lawyer, was whether Mr. Rittenhouse had gone to Kenosha “looking for trouble.” Mr. Rittenhouse said he had not.

  • Defense lawyers sought to counter the prosecution’s portrayal of Mr. Rittenhouse, who was living in Antioch, Ill., as an outsider who made an unreasonable decision to go to Kenosha armed with a semiautomatic rifle. Giving mostly brief answers to his lawyer’s friendly questions, Mr. Rittenhouse spoke of several of his relatives who live in Kenosha.

  • Mr. Rittenhouse testified that he and others went to Kenosha on the day of the shootings and worked to clean profane graffiti off a high school near the place where he would later shoot the three men. And he mentioned several instances when he said he rendered medical assistance to injured people.

  • Wearing a blue suit, he began his testimony speaking in a clear and confident tone. But he began to sob loudly as he described how he was “cornered” in a parking lot by Joseph Rosenbaum, the first man he shot and killed. Wendy Rittenhouse, his mother, began crying in the gallery of the courtroom, and the judge called a recess.

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