Kyle Rittenhouse trial: Defence says victim tried to behead teen with skateboard

A defence attorney says Anthony Huber, who allegedly hit Mr Rittenhouse with a skateboard before being shot dead, was ‘trying to separate the head from the body’

Nathan Place
New York
Tuesday 02 November 2021 23:24

Kenosha shooter’s lawyer says victim tried to decapitate him with skateboard

A lawyer for Kyle Rittenhouse says one of the men he shot had been trying to decapitate him with a skateboard.

The dramatic statement came on Tuesday, the first day of Mr Rittenhouse’s trial, as the teen’s attorneys argued that he acted in self-defence when he fatally shot two men, Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber.

The shootings took place on 25 August, 2020, during a night of protests and riots in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Mr Huber, according to the criminal complaint, approached Mr Rittenhouse after the teen shot Mr Rosenbaum and tried to grab his gun. During the struggle, the document says, a skateboard he was carrying “made contact” with Mr Rittenhouse’s shoulder.

On Tuesday, defence attorney Mark Richards said this was an attempt on Mr Rittenhouse’s life.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I would love to be able to hold up that skateboard in front of you as evidence today, because then you could see it,” Mr Richards told the jury. “You could see the weight and the heft of what a skateboard is, and what that skateboard would do if somebody takes it in their hand and swings down on somebody’s shoulder, head, and neck, trying to separate the head from the body.”

The prosecutor, Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger, objected to that characterisation, but Judge Bruce Schroeder overruled him.

“Kyle Rittenhouse protected himself,” Mr Richards went on, “protected his firearm so it couldn’t be taken and used against him or other people, from Mr Rosenbaum who’d made threats to kill, and the other individuals who didn’t see that shooting, attacked him in the street like an animal.”

Prosecutors, however, have argued that it was Mr Rittenhouse who “initiated” the violence.

“Like moths to a flame, tourists from outside our community were drawn to the chaos here in Kenosha,” Mr Binger told the court. “The evidence will show that hundreds of people were out on the street experiencing chaos and violence, and the only person who killed anyone was the defendant, Kyle Rittenhouse.”

Mr Rittenhouse has been charged with first degree intentional homicide, first degree reckless homicide, first degree recklessly endangering safety, and other charges. If convicted, he could face decades in prison.

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