LeBron James tells Kyle Rittenhouse to ‘knock it off’ after shooter sobbed on the witness stand

Basketball star calls out the 18-year-old suspect’s performance on the witness stand during his homicide trial

Rachel Sharp
Thursday 11 November 2021 22:40 GMT
Kyle Rittenhouse sobs on witness stand during testimony in double homicide trial

LeBron James has told Kyle Rittenhouse to “knock it off” and said he “didn’t see one” tear after the defendant sobbed on the witness stand at his homicide trial.

The basketball star, who is a vocal supporter of Black Lives Matter and advocates for racial justice, took to social media on Wednesday night to call out the 18-year-old suspect’s performance on the stand.

“What tears????? I didn’t see one. Man knock it off!” he tweeted, alongside a link to a USA Today article.

“That boy ate some lemon heads before walking into court,” he added, with some crying laughter emojis.

Mr James cast doubts on the sincerity of Mr Rittenhouse’s emotions after the court was sent into a brief recess on Wednesday so that the defendant could compose himself.

Mr Rittenhouse broke down in tears around 30 minutes into his testimony about the night of 25 August 2020 when he shot dead two men and wounded a third.

Mr Rittenhouse was being questioned by his defense attorney Mark Richards about the moments leading up to him shooting dead his first victim Joseph Rosenbaum.

Mr Rittenhouse then began to sob uncontrollably as he told the court he was “cornered” by Mr Rosenbaum and another protester Joshua Ziminski in a parking lot of a business that he claims he was trying to defend.

Kenosha County Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder called a brief recess before Mr Rittenhouse returned to the stand and continued with his testimony around 10 minutes later.

Mr Rittenhouse, who was 17 years old at the time and armed with an AR-15, shot and killed Mr Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, during racial justice protests over the police shooting of Black man Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

The teenager also shot and seriously injured a third man, 27-year-old Gaige Grosskreutz.

Mr Rittenhouse is charged as an adult with two counts of first-degree homicide, one count of attempted homicide, recklessly endangering the safety of two other victims and possessing a weapon while under the age of 18.

If convicted, he could face life in prison.

LeBron James tells Kyle Rittenhouse to ‘knock it off’ and says he ‘didn’t see one’ tear
LeBron James tells Kyle Rittenhouse to ‘knock it off’ and says he ‘didn’t see one’ tear (Twitter/LeBron James)

During his testimony on Wednesday, Mr Rittenhouse claimed he “didn’t do anything wrong” and acted in self-defence after being “ambushed”.

“I didn’t intend to kill them. I intended to stop the people who were attacking me,” he said.

He claimed that Mr Rosenbaum had threatened to kill him twice earlier during the night and told him on one occasion that “I’m going to cut your f***ing hearts out and kill you”.

However, the prosecution asserted that Mr Rittenhouse was the threat after arming himself with an AR-15, which he was illegally possessing as a minor, and traveling from his home in Antioch, Illinois, to Kenosha that night.

Under cross-examination, Mr Rittenhouse agreed that he had used “deadly force” that night and that Mr Rosenbaum had not physically touched him and was unarmed when he shot him.

The prosecutor also questioned why Mr Rittenhouse did not attempt to provide any medical assistance to the three men he shot, despite claiming he had gone to the protest to administer medical aid to anyone in need.

“You’re telling us that you felt like you were about to die, right? But when you point the gun at someone else, that’s going to make them feel like they’re about to die, right? That’s what you wanted him to feel,” the prosecutor said.

The defence rested on Thursday afternoon after calling a number of witnesses throughout the day.

The judge sent the jury home for the weekend ahead of closing arguments on Monday.

LA Lakers’ star LeBron James is a vocal supporter of BLM
LA Lakers’ star LeBron James is a vocal supporter of BLM (AP)

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