Your account has been created
Jurors review several pieces of video evidence as they deliberate for a second day
Find your bookmarks in your Independent Premium section, under my profile
Attorneys for Kyle Rittenhouse have made another request for a mistrial after arguing that prosecutors provided them with a lower-quality video of a key moment in the case.
On 17 November, defence attorney Corey Chirafisi asked Judge Bruce Schroeder to consider a mistrial without prejudice, meaning the teenager charged with homicide for killing two men and injuring another could be retried if he is not acquitted.
“We would have done this case in a different manner” if the defence had access to the “same information, the same quality of videos, and I think that is required in a case like this where he’s looking at a life sentence,” Mr Chirafisi said.
The request follows a dense and convoluted series of arguments over the last week about video compression involving a higher-definition drone-shot video that has been central to prosecutors’ argument that Mr Rittenhouse provoked violence in an already-chaotic scene in the aftermath of police brutality protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin on 25 August 2020.
Prosecutors believe the video proves that Mr Rittenhouse had lied during his testimony when he said he did not point his AR-15-style rifle before Joseph Rosenbaum, who was unarmed, chased Mr Rittenhouse, who then fired four shots. A group later chased after Mr Rittenhouse when he fled the scene; Mr Rittenhouse then fatally shot Anthony Huber and fired a round into Gaige Grosskreutz’s arm.
Throughout the case, legal teams exchanged video evidence through DropBox. The prosecution said police had delivered the higher-resolution video through AirDrop, and that the defence later requested the drone video via email, which they argued had compressed the video from an Apple-to-Android transfer.
Assistant District Attorney James Kraus said that the video was played in court for the jury and “not objected to, the authenticity was stipulated to, and the defence watched this exhibit.”
“That is what matters. That is what the jury has seen,” he said.
He said that the court has focused “too heavily on a technological glitch,” and that it wasn’t the prosecution’s fault that a video was compressed when it was received by the defence.
“I do not believe … an unknown technical incident should result in a mistrial,” Mr Kraus said.
Earlier this week, Mr Rittenhouse’s legal team filed a motion calling on the judge to dismiss the case and issue a mistrial with prejudice in the teenager’s double homicide case, after defence attorneys objected to lines of questioning from Kenosha County Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger during last week’s cross examination of Mr Rittenhouse, who took the witness stand in his own defence on 10 November.
The request on 17 November came as Judge Schroeder determined the ground rules for the jury to review several pieces of video evidence that were shown during the two-week trial and that they requested to revisit as they conclude a second day of deliberations.
Judge Schroeder has taken the mistrial motion under advisement but has not issued a ruling.
The judge determined that jurors are able to review the drone video, but he warned that if it is deemed unreliable, “it’s going to get ugly”.
“There is a day of reckoning with respect to these things,” he said.
The court was cleared and cameras were turned off so jurors could return to the courtroom and watch the requested video clips.
Want to bookmark your favourite articles and stories to read or reference later? Start your Independent Premium subscription today.
New to The Independent?
Or if you would prefer:
Want an ad-free experience?
Your account has been created