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Kyle Rittenhouse testifies in his own defense

Kyle Rittenhouse breaks down on stand during trial
03:20

What we're covering

  • Kyle Rittenhouse, the armed Illinois teenager who killed two people and wounded another during unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last summer, is testifying in his own defense during his trial on homicide charges.
  • Rittenhouse, now 18, is charged with five felonies.
  • The case stems from Rittenhouse’s actions in the wake of protests related to the police shooting of Jacob Blake in August 2020, which left Blake paralyzed. It’s a case that will test the distinction between self-defense and vigilante killings.

Our live coverage has ended. You can read about what happened in court today below.

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Here's what happened today in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial

Kyle Rittenhouse, the armed Illinois teenager who killed two people and wounded another during protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, took the stand today to testify in his own defense in his trial on homicide charges.

Here’s what happened today in court:

  • Rittenhouse says he did nothing wrong: Rittenhouse defended his actions in Kenosha, in the wake of the protests related to the police shooting of Jacob Blake in August 2020, telling the court I didn’t do anything wrong. I defended myself.” The teenager also said he didn’t intend to kill anyone, but agreed he used “deadly force” that night.
  • Emotional testimony: Rittenhouse broke down on the stand while describing the night of the shooting prompting the judge to call a 10-minute recess
  • Rittenhouse says he was “ambushed”: Rittenhouse testified that Joseph Rosenbaum, who he shot and killed, had threatened to kill him and said he “came out from behind the car and ambushed me” before the shooting. He said later in his testimony that he believed Rosenbaum “tried to take my gun,” adding, “if he would have taken my gun he would’ve used it against me” and “killed me.”
  • No physical contact: Rittenhouse said that Rosenbaum had not physically touched him.
  • Motion for a mistrial: Defense attorney Corey Chirafisi said in court this afternoon that the defense is making a motion for a mistrial with prejudice claiming the prosecutor, ADA Thomas Binger, committed “what amounts to prosecutorial overreach.” The judge said he would take the motion under advisement.
  • Judge admonishes the prosecutor: Twice during cross-examination, Schroeder asked the jury to leave the courtroom and then sharply admonished Binger for his line of questioning.

Judge tells jurors to expect to finish by early next week 

At the end of court on Wednesday, Judge Bruce Schroeder told members of the Kyle Rittenhouse jury that he expected to finish the case by early next week. 

“I have just discussed the matter with the lawyers, and I’m very confident that we will finish by Tuesday as I asked you about a couple of weeks ago. And there is a bare chance, I don’t want to get your hopes up, but there is a chance we can finish on Monday. And that’s the best of my information. It isn’t a promise, but I think that’s very realistic,” Schroeder told the jury. 

Before speaking with the jury, defense attorneys indicated to Schroeder they have three witnesses left to call in the case. 

Schroeder asked prosecutors if they expected to call any rebuttal witnesses after the defense rests their case.

Prosecutor Thomas Binger replied, “I don’t think it’s going to be extensive, but we do reserve the right to call…” 

“Understood,” Schroeder interjected. 

After polling the attorneys outside the presence of the jury, the judge also indicated there will be no court this upcoming weekend. 

Defense attorneys said that Dr. John Black is expected to be the first witness for the defense called Thursday morning. 

Court is in recess until 10 a.m. ET Thursday.

Trial adjourns until Thursday morning

The trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, the armed Illinois teenager who killed two people and wounded another during unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last summer, has adjourned for the day.

The trial will resume Thursday morning.

Kyle Rittenhouse testifies that Joseph Rosenbaum "would have taken my gun" and used it against him

Kyle Rittenhouse was asked during cross-examination about his encounter with Joseph Rosenbaum before he shot and killed him last summer.

Rittenhouse testified that Rosenbaum “tried to take my gun,” adding, “If he would have taken my gun he would’ve used it against me” and “killed me.”

The questioning grew tense and Rittenhouse grew emotional, telling prosecutor Thomas Binger, “I don’t know what Mr. Rosenbuaum was thinking when he tried to grab my gun”

While fighting back tears, Rittenhouse repeatedly stated that Rosenbaum “would’ve killed me” if he allowed him to take his gun from him.

Rittenhouse testified that he “never wanted to shoot, Mr. Rosenbaum” but “he was chasing me.”

The defendant insisted that the reason he pointed his gun at Rosenbaum was so he “would stop chasing me.”

Rittenhouse says Joseph Rosenbaum never physically touched him

As Kyle Rittenhouse’s testimony resumed after a lunch break, Kenosha County Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger asked about his encounter with Joseph Rosenbaum.

Rittenhouse testified earlier that Rosenbaum threatened him twice. 

This was the exchange:

“Did he swing the chain at you when he made the second threat?,” Binger asked.
“He did not,” Rittenhouse replied. 
“Did he physically touch you when he made the second threat?”
“No, he didn’t,” Rittenhouse answered.
“In fact, that entire evening he never once touched your body, did he?,” Binger asked. 
“He grabbed my gun when he attacked me,” Rittenhouse said.
“And that is why I asked the question the way I did. He never touched your body that night correct?,” Binger asked. 
“He didn’t touch me physically,” Rittenhouse said. 

Binger also asked Rittenhouse if Rosenbaum had any type of weapon other than the chain Rittenhouse believed he had and whether Rosenbaum charged at him or was physically aggressive toward him. 

Rittenhouse said he did not. 

Legal experts weigh in on Rittenhouse's testimony

Is Kyle Rittenhouse’s testimony on the stand so far helping or hurting his case? Legal experts weighed in on CNN during a break in the trial this afternoon. Here’s what they said.

CNN legal analyst and civil rights attorney Areva Martin

“It was a risky move by the defense team to put him on the stand… but I think in this case, given how the evidence has been presented by the prosecution, that it is working for the defense.”

“They presented a very different picture of a Kyle Rittenhouse than what we had seen in the media reports. This is a Kyle Rittenhouse that went there to do good, to take graffiti off of a school, to render aid, to help save a business. This was a very … humanized Kyle Rittenhouse, and that’s what the defense wanted to do … I think so far Kyle’s testimony probably went over pretty well.” 

CNN senior legal analyst Laura Coates

“If I was the defense, I would have put him on the stand… There was a lot of sympathetic media towards him, people who thought about him as essentially as bit of a martyr from this inflection point on racial tension in America.”

However, if “I’m the prosecution, I need him to take the stand for the reasons that came through on the cross-examination. Remember, when he was asked questions by his own attorney you saw the waterworks coming out. He was crying… he was overcome with emotion.”

CNN analyst and criminal defense attorney Joey Jackson

The defense has “done excellent … the reality is I say they did well.”

“He explained himself with respect to why force was necessary … He said, ‘there was a gun pointed at me, I was in fear for my life.’”

“The reality is that the jurors will render a verdict based upon all types of evidence, but with regard to a defendant testifying, I think this couldn’t have gone much better than it did, and the cross couldn’t touch him with respect to the prosecutor cross-examining him to try to otherwise discredit him. Didn’t do a good job.”

CNN chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin

“The good news for Kyle Rittenhouse is that he’s not on trial for being an idiot. He’s on trial for homicide.”

“This is a tough case for the prosecution because it does seem like he has a plausible case of self-defense and … if it were illegal to be an idiot, the jails would be even more crowded than they are now. Homicide is a different matter … he may have a defense here.”

Rittenhouse says he would have used a handgun for protection if he could have legally possessed it

The prosecution zeroed in on Kyle Rittenhouse’s AR-15 type rifle during cross-examination Wednesday. 

“Everybody that you shot at that night, you intended to kill, correct?,” Kenosha County Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger asked him.
“I didn’t intend to kill them, I intended to stop the people who were attacking me,” Rittenhouse replied.
“By killing them,” Binger asked.
“I did what I had to do to stop the person who was attacking me,” Rittenhouse said.

Rittenhouse told Binger that he thought he could possess a rifle, but not purchase it at the age of 17 in Wisconsin.

“I cannot legally possess or carry a pistol because I’m not 18 in Wisconsin. I believe it’s 18 in Wisconsin for a pistol, but with the rifle, I knew I could possess that rifle. I knew I couldn’t buy it but I knew I could like take it, to like the shooting range or possess it,” Rittenhouse said.

Rittenhouse also told Binger that the rifle got in the way at times when he was trying to treat people at the protests in Kenosha that night.

“This big, long AR-15 really got in the way whenever you tried to help someone, right,” Binger asked.

“Sometimes,” Rittenhouse answered, adding, “If I could have legally carried a handgun, I would have carried a handgun…instead of a rifle.”

When Binger asked Rittenhouse if he knew “the capabilities” of the weapon, Rittenhouse replied, “I knew that it could shoot, and I believe from a distance, I don’t know how far I’m not an expert on AR-15s.”

Rittenhouse testifies that he lied during an interview that he was a certified EMT

Kyle Rittenhouse was asked during cross-examination about an interview that he gave to a video journalist the night of the shooting. The prosecution played video clips from that interview during Rittenhouse’s testimony.

In one clip, the person taking the video asks Rittenhouse if he is a certified emergency medical technician. In the video, Rittenhouse replies yes.

After the clip was played, prosecutor Thomas Binger asked Rittenhouse if he lied during the interview that he was an EMT.

“I’m not an EMT,” Rittenhouse replied.

Binger followed up, “You’re not a certified EMT, you’re not an EMT of any kind, you weren’t on that night, correct?”

“Yes,” Rittenhouse responded.

Here was the rest of the exchange:

Binger: “So you lied to him, correct?”
Rittenhouse: “I told him I was an EMT, but I wasn’t.”
Binger: “And you knew you were being interviewed by someone in the media when you told that lie, didn’t you? 
Rittenhouse: “Yes.”

Rittenhouse says he brought a gun to the protests "to protect myself" if he was attacked

Prosecutor Thomas Binger questioned Kyle Rittenhouse about why he felt it necessary to bring a weapon to the protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last summer.

“I needed the gun because if I had to protect myself because somebody attacked me,” Rittenhouse testified Wednesday afternoon in his own defense.

When asked by Binger why he thought anyone would attack him at the protests, Rittenhouse said, “I don’t know.”

“I brought the gun to protect myself,” Rittenhouse said.

Here’s more from the exchange between Binger and Rittenhouse:

Binger: “I don’t understand. You said you’re going to bring the gun to protect yourself, so you thought you were going to be in danger, right?”
Rittenhouse: “I didn’t think I would be put into a situation to where I would have to defend myself.”

Rittenhouse defense makes a motion for mistrial

Defense attorney Corey Chirafisi said in court this afternoon that the defense is making a motion for a mistrial with prejudice.

Chirafasi said the prosecutor, ADA Joseph Binger, committed “what amounts to prosecutorial overreach.”

Earlier in the day, Judge Bruce Schroeder asked the jury to leave the courtroom twice during cross-examination and then sharply admonished Binger for his line of questioning.

The first incident related to Binger’s questions about Rittenhouse’s post-arrest silence, a right solidified in the Fifth Amendment of the US Constitution.

“The problem is this is a grave constitutional violation for you to talk about the defendant’s silence,” Schroeder said. “You’re right on the borderline, and you may be over, but it better stop.”

The second admonishment related to questions about an incident two weeks before the shootings that Schroeder has said would not be permitted to come into evidence. 

Chirafasi said this afternoon that the judge “warned” Binger that testifying about “certain things” was “off limits.”

“I think the court has to make some findings as it relates to the bad faith on the part of the prosecution, and if the court makes a finding that the actions that I had talked about were done in bad faith,” Chirafasi said.

The defense attorney asked the court to grant the motion with prejudice.

The judge said he would take the motion under advisement. “There better not be another incident,” he said.

Court resumes in Kyle Rittenhouse trial

The court has resumed in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial after taking a lunch break.

Rittenhouse testified before the break that he was scared for his life and acted in self-defense when he fatally shot Joseph Rosenbaum last year in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in what is likely to be the pivotal testimony of his homicide trial.

“I didn’t do anything wrong. I defended myself,” he testified.

In the moments before the shooting, another man, Joshua Ziminski, told Rosenbaum to “get him and kill him,” Rittenhouse testified. Rosenbaum started to chase the teenager in a parking lot and threw a plastic bag at him, but Rittenhouse said he believed at the time that the thrown object was a chain.

The 18-year-old’s stunning testimony came a day after the prosecution rested its case on Tuesday after calling 22 witnesses over six days. The prosecution’s case was highlighted by testimony from an armed paramedic who was shot by Rittenhouse and a journalist who said the gunfire put him in danger.

Rittenhouse judge admonished the prosecutor twice during cross-examination. Here's why.

Twice during cross-examination, Judge Bruce Schroeder asked the jury to leave the courtroom and then sharply admonished Kenosha County Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger for his line of questioning.

The first incident related to Binger’s questions about Rittenhouse’s post-arrest silence, a right solidified in the Fifth Amendment of the US Constitution.

“The problem is this is a grave constitutional violation for you to talk about the defendant’s silence,” Schroeder said. “You’re right on the borderline, and you may be over, but it better stop.”

The second admonishment related to questions about an incident two weeks before the shootings that Schroeder has said would not be permitted to come into evidence. 

“Your honor, Mr. Binger is either forgetting court’s rulings or attempting to provoke a mistrial in this a matter,” defense attorney Mark Richards told the judge. “He knows he can’t go into this and he’s asking the questions. I ask the court to strongly admonish him and the next time it happens, I will be asking for a mistrial with prejudice. He’s an experienced attorney and he knows better.”

Binger said he believed that incident was newly relevant to the case, but Schroeder criticized him for not asking permission first and affirmed the evidence would not be allowed.

“I apologize, your honor. You’re right, I probably should have brought this to your attention earlier. I may have misunderstood your ruling because I thought your ruling was if the evidence in this case made that more relevant, you would admit it or at least considered it’s admittance,” Binger said.

Binger said he thought the circumstances would be different because the judge had said he hadn’t heard anything in the trial to change his rulings prior to Rittenhouse’s testimony. 

“Don’t get brazen with me,” Schroeder told Binger. “You know very well that an attorney can’t go into these types of areas when the judge has already ruled without asking outside the presence of the jury to do so, so don’t give me that.”

The court is in a lunch break

The court is taking a break for lunch until 2 p.m. ET.

The prosecution has been cross-examining Kyle Rittenhouse about how the night of the shooting unfolded.

Before the prosecution began, Rittenhouse testified that he was scared for his life and acted in self-defense when he fatally shot Joseph Rosenbaum last year in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in what is likely to be the pivotal testimony of his homicide trial.

“I didn’t do anything wrong. I defended myself,” he testified.

Judge Schroeder is viewed as a tough jurist: "He doesn't like to be pushed around by either party"

Kenosha County Circuit Court Judge Bruce Schroeder is known to be viewed as a tough jurist.

During today’s line of questioning, Schroeder stopped prosecutor Thomas Binger’s cross-examination of Kyle Rittenhouse to admonish the prosecution team’s line of questioning.

The two had a testy exchange after the judge asked the jury to leave the courtroom.

Schroeder also made headlines last month by reiterating his longstanding rule of not allowing prosecutors to refer to people as “victims” before juries in his courtroom.

At the same time, Schroeder said at a pretrial hearing that the men who were shot could be described as “looters” or “rioters” if the defense can show they engaged in such activity during protests after a police officer shot Jacob Blake in August 2020, leaving Blake paralyzed.

His decision immediately sparked debate and in some cases outrage in legal circles and Schroeder, the longest serving active judge in Wisconsin’s trial courts was, once again, thrust into the spotlight.

“His word is final and he’s not afraid to make tough decisions,” said Dan Adams, a Wisconsin criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor.

Schroeder, 75, has come under scrutiny many times during his nearly 40 years on the bench: From a 2018 sentence — thrown out on appeal — requiring a convicted shoplifter to tell store managers she was on supervision for retail theft, to ordering AIDS tests for sex workers in the late 1980s.

“He has a reputation for doing what he believes is the right thing and being an independent thinker,” said William Lynch, a retired attorney who served on the board of the ACLU of Wisconsin at the time of Schroeder ruling about the AIDS tests.

“And it’s his courtroom. He doesn’t like to be pushed around by either party. So he has a strong sense of his own his bearing in the courtroom,” Lynch said.

CNN has sought comment from Schroeder.

A seasoned southeast Wisconsin attorney who has appeared before Schroeder many times described the judge as “someone who has studied the Constitution and the enumerated rights for criminal defendants and… respects the right of the defense to put on a defense.”

“He’s a super old school guy,” said the attorney, who asked not to be named because he still appears before Schroeder.

“And that doesn’t mean that he’s old. I mean he’s 75 years old, which is older than most judges, but he’s just an old school guy. He still operates his courtroom like it’s 1980.”

Schroeder will be 80 when his current terms ends in 2026.

The Wisconsin defense attorney who asked not to be identified noted that Schroeder’s sharp tongue and sometimes combative manner have “mellowed” over the years.

“He barks some and, for younger lawyers, they are very sensitive to that sort of thing. ‘Oh, the judge yelled at me.’” the attorney said. “Like, toughen up, buttercup. This is felony court. Older lawyers are like, ‘Okay, he yelled at me. And then I saw him in the hallway and he asked me how my son’s basketball game was.’ That’s just his style.”

Read more here.

Judge admonishes prosecutor over Rittenhouse cross-examination

Judge Bruce Schroeder stopped prosecutor Thomas Binger’s cross-examination of Kyle Rittenhouse to admonish the prosecution team’s line of questioning.

The two had a testy exchange after the judge asked the jury to leave the courtroom.

“Don’t get brazen with me,” Schroeder told Binger.

The exchange is ongoing.

Rittenhouse says he chose an AR-15 in part because it "looked cool"

Kyle Rittenhouse testified that when he chose a gun for his friend, Dominick Black, to purchase for him, he selected an AR-15 over a pistol because he believed he could not legally possess a pistol, and thought the AR-15 “looked cool.”

“So you’re telling us that the reason that you wanted Dominic to buy you an AR-15 as opposed to a pistol… the only reason is because you felt you couldn’t lawfully possess a pistol?” asked prosecutor Thomas Binger.

“Correct,” responded Rittenhouse.

“You didn’t pick out the AR-15 for any other reason?” continued Binger.

Rittenhouse then agreed with the prosecutor that he had not purchased the weapon to hunt, or for home protection, again saying he, “thought it looked cool if that’s a reason.”

Rittenhouse then took issue with the prosecutor’s suggestion that he might have chosen the AR-15 because similar weapons appear in first-person shooter video games, saying “there are guns in video games that resemble all guns.”

“It’s just a video game,” he said later in the exchange. “It’s not real life.”

Rittenhouse testifies he didn't intend to kill anyone, but agrees he used "deadly force"

Prosecutor Thomas Binger is now cross-examining defendant Kyle Rittenhouse. The ADA opened his questioning of Rittenhouse by asking, “Everyone you shot at that night you intended to kill, correct?”

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

When Binger pressed Rittenhouse that he stopped these people by “killing them,” Rittenhouse pushed back, responding, “Two of them passed away, but I stopped the threat from attacking me.”

Rittenhouse agreed with Binger that he intentionally used “deadly force” on his victims that night.

“I didn’t know if it was going to kill them, but I used deadly force to stop the threat that was attacking me.”

The cross-examination is ongoing.

Rittenhouse testifies that he saw a pistol in shooting victim Gaige Grosskreutz's hand before he shot him

Kyle Rittenhouse testified that after he fell to the ground, he saw Gaige Grosskreutz standing in front of him. He said that he saw a pistol in Grosskreutz’s hand.

“My rifle is down. His hands are up. His pistol is in his hand, and then he looks at me, and that’s when he brings his arm down…like his arm is like that with me on the ground and his pistol is pointed at me,” Rittenhouse testified.

“That’s when I shoot him,” he continued.

He said that he shot Grosskreutz once but did not know where he shot him.

Rittenhouse shot Grosskreutz once in his right bicep with his AR-15 rifle. Grosskreutz was the only shooting victim to survive.

Asked by his attorney what happened after he shot Grosskreutz, Rittenhouse said, “He’s no longer a threat to me.”

Rittenhouse says Anthony Huber was "holding a skateboard like a baseball bat" when he shot him

After shooting Joseph Rosenbaum, Kyle Rittenhouse described running past Anthony Huber toward the police line.

“As I’m running past Mr. Huber, he’s holding a skateboard like a baseball bat and he swings it down and I block it with my arm trying to prevent it from hitting me, but it still hits me in the neck. And as I block it, it goes flying somewhere off into the distance,” Rittenhouse said.

He says he got light-headed and fell to the ground.

“As I’m on the ground, there are people around me, I don’t recall how many, but I remember moving my rifle in their direction and they back off besides one person,” Rittenhouse said.  

Rittenhouse said that person jumped at him.

“As his boot is making contact with my face, I fire two shots at him,” Rittenhouse said.

“Why did you shoot at him?” defense attorney Mike Richards asked.

“He would have stomped my face in if I didn’t fire,” Rittenhouse replied. 

Rittenhouse said Huber then ran over and hit him a second time in the neck with a skateboard and grabbed at his gun.

“I can feel the strap starting to come off my body,” Rittenhouse said.

Kyle Rittenhouse describes shooting: "I didn't do anything wrong. I defended myself."

Kyle Rittenhouse said that as he was running, shooting victim Joseph Rosenbaum threw a bag and a chain at him. He said that another person with Rosenbaum told him, “get him, kill him.”

Rittenhouse said that he pointed his gun at Rosenbaum, who continued to chase him.

“After he throws the bag and he continues to run, he’s gaining speed on me, a gunshot is fired from behind me, directly behind me. I take a few steps, and that’s when I turn around. As I’m turning around, Mr. Rosenbaum is … coming at me with his arms out in front of him. I remember his hand on the barrel of my gun.”

Defense attorney Mark Richards asked Rittenhouse, “As you see him lunging at you, what do you do?” 

“I shoot him,” he responded.

Asked by his attorney how many times he shot Rosenbaum, he said, “I believe four.” 

Rittenhouse said that he continued running with the intention of going to the police.

Asked why he was trying to get to the police, Rittenhouse said, “Because I didn’t do anything wrong. I defended myself.”

Rittenhouse resumes testimony after breaking down on stand

 Kyle Rittenhouse has resumed his testimony following a short recess after he broke down on the stand while he described the night of the shooting.

His mother, Wendy Rittenhouse, was heard sobbing loudly within earshot of jurors, as she watched her son break down crying while testifying on Wednesday, according to the pool reporter.

Someone sitting next to her, put an arm around her trying to console her, according to the pool reporter.

Rittenhouse's mother heard sobbing loudly in court as he testified, according to pool report

Kyle Rittenhouse’s mother, Wendy Rittenhouse, was heard sobbing loudly within earshot of jurors as she watched her son break down crying while testifying on Wednesday, according to the pool reporter. 

Someone sitting next to her put an arm around her trying to console her, according to the pool reporter.

The trial took a brief break after Kyle Rittenhouse broke down on the stand. The court is now back in session, and the defense team is continuing questioning Kyle Rittenhouse.

Court calls recess after Rittenhouse breaks down while describing night of the shooting

Kyle Rittenhouse — the armed Illinois teenager who killed two people and wounded another during unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last summer — broke down on the stand as he was questioned about the night of the shooting.

Rittenhouse, who is on trial on homicide charges, is testifying in his own defense. His defense team has argued he acted in self-defense when he opened fire.

The judge called for a brief break after Rittenhouse became emotional.

Kyle Rittenhouse testifies man he shot "ambushed" him

Kyle Rittenhouse testified that the night of the shooting, after speaking to a friend on the phone, he started running toward the Car Source to put out the fires that were being set at the business.

He said that as he was running, shooting victim Joseph Rosenbaum “came out from behind the car and ambushed me.”

Rittenhouse continued to narrate his attempt to get back to the Car Source where he was earlier that night. He said that as he was running, some protesters yelled at him, and he responded “friendly.”

As Rittenhouse continued to describe these moments he started to break down on the stand in tears.

“I look over my shoulder, and Mr. Rosenbaum was now running from my right side, and I was cornered from…in front of me…There were people right there,” Rittenhouse said, struggling to get the words out.

His attorney, Mark Richards, told him, “Take a deep breath, Kyle.”

When it became clear that Rittenhouse was going to continue to have a hard time speaking, the judge decided to take a break.

Rittenhouse’s testimony is expected to continue when court resumes.

Kyle Rittenhouse testifies that shooting victim Joseph Rosenbaum threatened to kill him

Kyle Rittenhouse testified that before he shot and killed Joseph Rosenbaum, that Rosenbaum threatened to kill him.

Rittenhouse said that he encountered Rosenbaum in the streets in Kenosha on the night of August 25, 2020. Rittenhouse said that he and another person saw Rosenbaum “walking with a steel chain and he had a blue mask around his face.” 

“He was just mad about something,” Rittenhouse said.

Rittenhouse claimed that he was seeing if any people at the protest “needed medical help” when he testified that Rosenbaum screamed at him “if I catch any of you f***ers alone, I’m going to f***ing kill you.”

Rittenhouse said he was present in front of the Car Source business when he heard Rosenbaum levy more threats at him and the group he was with.

“He was screaming — he said, ‘I’m going to cut your f***ing hearts out’ — I’m not going to repeat the second word — but kill you, N-word,” Rittenhouse testified.

Asked by his defense attorney if he observed Rosenbaum damage any property, Rittenhouse claimed he observed Rosenbaum tip a trailer and a port-a-potty over.

Rittenhouse’s testimony is ongoing.

Rittenhouse says he gave his bulletproof vest away because he planned on helping with first aid at protest

During his testimony, defendant Kyle Rittenhouse said that on the day of the shooting, he was contacted by Nicholas Smith, who was employed at the Car Source dealership, and asked if he wanted help “watch over” the car dealership.

“Nick Smith, once we picked him up — he wanted to go to a bank to withdraw money. And the bank was closed. He was like, ‘Hey, would you guys like to come with me and help watch over the Car Source, make sure there’s no fires or anything?’”

Rittenhouse continued, “I said, ‘OK.’ I said, ‘Here, Nick, I don’t really need my bulletproof vest. I’m going to be helping people with first aid, so I gave him my bulletproof vest.”

Kyle Rittenhouse tells jury he is certified in basic life support

Kyle Rittenhouse testified that he is certified in basic life support, is a certified lifeguard and swim instructor.

He said he is certified to perform CPR, and to use a defibrillator.

Rittenhouse said prior to the shootings, his hobbies included swimming, working as a lifeguard, and “hanging out with friends, going to the beach, just normal teenage stuff.”

He also said he was a police explorer and a firefighter emergency medical technician cadet.

Rittenhouse said he lives with his mother and two sisters.

Rittenhouse testifies that his bulletproof vest was issued to him by police

Kyle Rittenhouse testified that his bulletproof vest was issued to him by a police department in Illinois and he did not buy it himself.

Rittenhouse — the teenager who killed two people and wounded another during unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last summer — testified that he gave the vest to a friend ahead of the protest.

“Why does a 17-year-old kid have a bulletproof vest?” Rittenhouse’s defense attorney asked him. The teenager is on trial on homicide charges.

“It was issued to me by the Grayslake Police Department,” he testified.

“You didn’t purchase it?” the lawyer asked.

“No, I did not,” Rittenhouse added.

Following the 2020 shooting, Grayslake, Illinois, Police Chief Phillip L. Perlini said the suspect in the shooting was a former public safety cadet. Grayslake is about 30 miles from Kenosha.

Jurors observed appearing "attentive" and some taking "extensive" notes as Rittenhouse testifies

Jurors were sent out of the room just before Kyle Rittenhouse began testifying on Wednesday morning while Judge Bruce Schroeder explained Rittenhouse’s rights to remain silent and the potential risks of testifying, according to a pool reporter in court.

As jurors came back in to the courtroom, they filed by Rittenhouse on the witness stand.

As Rittenhouse began answering questions, jurors appeared “attentive,” some appearing to take “extensive” notes on brown clipboards balanced on their laps, according to the pool reporter.

Kyle Rittenhouse testifies he did not go to Kenosha to look for trouble

Defendant Kyle Rittenhouse is testifying in his ongoing murder trial.

Asked by his attorney Mark Richards if on Aug. 25, 2020, he came to downtown Kenosha to look for trouble, the 18-year-old said, “No.”

Rittenhouse killed two people and wounded another during unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last summer. He is on trial on homicide charges.

Judge reads Kyle Rittenhouse his rights before he testifies

Kyle Rittenhouse had his rights read by Judge Bruce Schroeder after he was called to testify by his defense attorneys.

Rittenhouse said “yes, your honor” when asked if he understood.

He is wearing a navy suit and tie and a white shirt.

Kyle Rittenhouse called to testify

Defendant Kyle Rittenhouse has taken the stand to testify. Before his testimony begins, the judge asked him a series of questions to determine if it was his wish to testify. He answered yes.

His defense attorney is about to begin questioning him.

The lone survivor shot by Kyle Rittenhouse testified in court Monday. Here's a recap.

Kyle Rittenhouse, the armed Illinois teenager who killed two people and wounded another during unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last summer, is on trial.

Rittenhouse is charged with five felonies, a misdemeanor charge and a non-criminal violation. He has pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors say Rittenhouse’s actions constituted criminal homicide, but his attorneys say he shot the men in self-defense. Wisconsin law requires when a self-defense claim is raised, prosecutors must disprove self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt – a difficult obstacle for the state.

Attorneys questioned several witnesses, including experts on guns, the detective who made the arrest, and the only person to survive being shot by Rittenhouse.

Here are some of the biggest takeaways from the courtroom Monday:

Gaige Grosskreutz:

  • He is the only one of the three men shot by Kyle Rittenhouse during a night of protests in Kenosha last year who survived.
  • According to the criminal complaint, Rittenhouse shot and injured Grosskreutz, who approached him shortly after Anthony Huber was shot. The complaint said Grosskreutz put his hands in the air and then began to move toward Rittenhouse, who then fired one shot, hitting Grosskreutz in the arm.
  • Photos and videos presented in court show that Grosskreutz had a gun in his hand as he was standing a few feet from Rittenhouse. During that line of questioning, Grosskreutz agreed with the defense that his firearm was pointed at Rittenhouse. Later during redirect questioning by the prosecution, he said he never intentionally pointed his gun at Rittenhouse during the shooting.
  • When questioned by the defense attorney Grosskreutz agreed that “It wasn’t until you pointed your gun at [Rittenhouse]…that he fired.”

Jason Krueger:

  • The Kenosha police officer testified that he and his partner were responding to another call for a fire in the area of the protests when they heard gunshots.
  • Krueger said Kyle Rittenhouse approached his squad car carrying an AR-15 rifle with his hands in the air. Krueger testified that he commanded Rittenhouse to “keep away” and “stay back” from the car, but he kept walking toward the police. Krueger deployed his pepper spray.
  • He testified that when Rittenhouse was approaching the car he said “something about a shooting” but gave “no verbal indication” that he was the person who shot his gun.