The preliminary hearing for 17-year old Kyle Rittenhouse took place virtually in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Thursday and ended with the county’s court commissioner upholding all of the charges against the teenager, though Rittenhouse’s attorney had argued that his client shot three people in self-defense rather than in act of malice. Mark Richards, the attorney representing Rittenhouse during the preliminary hearing, also sought to have charges of illegal possession of a firearm dropped, but the court agreed with prosecutors who argued that state law prohibits those under the age of 18 from possessing a rifle, except while hunting.
At the preliminary hearing — held remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic — the prosecution presented brief testimony from Kenosha Police Detective Ben Antaramian about Rittenhouse’s actions on Aug. 25 when he is alleged to have shot and killed Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, of Kenosha, and Anthony Huber, 26, of Silver Lake, and shot and injured Gaige Grosskreutz, 26, of West Allis.
Antaramian testified that Rittenhouse is seen on video shooting the three men.In his cross examination, Richards used photographs taken from videos showing the moments before and during the shootings, attempting to show that Rittenhouse shot the men in self defense. He characterized Rosenbaum as a criminal.The detective testified that Rosenbaum was chasing Rittenhouse before he was shot and that after that shooting Rittenhouse was running away and fell to the ground, shooting Huber after Huber hit him with a skateboard. Another man, who was seen on video trying to kick Rittenhouse, was never identified, Antaramian testified.
I find it incredibly frustrating that even the witnesses for the prosecution don’t dispute that Rittenhouse wasn’t the initial aggressor, and was in fact fleeing from a mob led by Joseph Rosenbaum when he was cornered by the man with a lengthy criminal history who had just been released from a psychiatric facility earlier that day.