Kyle Rittenhouse’s attorney Mark Richards spoke to the press on Friday afternoon, not long after his client was found not guilty on all charges in the shooting deaths of Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber, along with the wounding of Gaige Grosskreutz, during the riots in Kenosha, Wisconsin last August. Richards said that Rittenhouse was “relieved” by the jury’s decision and “thankful” that the jurors had the opportunity to hear “the full story” of what happened that night.
Richards was asked if it was a tough call to put Rittenhouse on the stand in his own defense, and the defense attorney said it wasn’t really a tough call at all. Richards says the defense team had gone through a couple of mock juries, one who heard Rittenhouse’s testimony and one who didn’t, and the response from those who heard from Rittenhouse firsthand was much more positive than the mock jurors who never heard from the teen. Richards went on to say that in Wisconsin, if you don’t put a murder defendant on the stand, it’s not going to look good to the jurors.
When asked about crucial moments of the case, Richards struggled to come up with just one but finally settled on prosecutor Thomas Binger’s assertion during opening arguments that the evidence would show that it was actually Rittenhouse who was chasing Joseph Rosenbaum, not the other way around. Richards said he still can’t figure out where Binger came up with the argument, but it gave him an opportunity to demonstrate that the prosecution’s case just didn’t add up.
A few more highlights from Richards’ press conference-
On Rittenhouse’s original attorneys Lin Wood and John Pierce – “They wanted to use Kyle for a cause, and something I think was inappropriate. I don’t represent causes, I represent clients, and the only thing that ended up mattering to me was whether he was found not guilty or not.”
On the length of jury deliberations – “I’ve never seen a jury, and I don’t mean this as a slight to them, but they didn’t have a lot of questions. We had no information that they ever fought. They were just working through the issues. So it was the [length of] time that made me nervous.”
On the prosecution’s case against Rittenhouse – “When they put on the Khindri brothers knowing that they were lying, that is a problem. As I said in my closing argument, this isn’t a game. You’re playing with an 18-year old kid’s life. And they were willing to put those guys on… Detective Howard and Detective Antaramian had both interviewed them and in their police report said ‘we know you’re lying.’ I can’t ask that question when they’re on the witness stand of the detectives because one witness can’t comment on another. So they put them on, they knew they were lying, and that’s garbage.
On the prosecution and the infamous drone video – “I’m thankful we’re not going to have to litigate the issue of the drone video, but they kept saying we stipulated to it, we let it in. We agreed to let it in because we saw the quality we were given and the jury couldn’t see anything. And then they’re saying that his first attorney had it because it was on Tucker Carlson. John Piece never had that video. We’ve talked with Fox News, we talked to Tucker Carlson’s show. The video that was on Tucker Carlson’s show started right when Rosenbaum threw the bag. It did not start with the part that they showed at the beginning. It’s a huge difference. That’s what they built their whole case on, with that garbage photo, and you know, you don’t expect everything at a trial, ever, and that program that they used and the expert from the crime lab specifically says on the company’s blog ‘artificial intelligence enhancements are not to be used for forensic evidence’ and they did it.
On Rittenhouse’s tearful testimony – “There’s been so much talk about whether the tears were genuine. All I can say is when we prepared Kyle and we worked on his testimony in my office there were things we couldn’t talk about in my office because it got too emotional and he couldn’t handle it. He’s in counseling for PTSD. He doesn’t sleep at night. Remorse, I think, manifests itself in other ways. I don’t think he can ever walk out here and say that because of the situation but I know Kyle Rittenhouse and I know what he feels.”
On what happens next for Kyle Rittenhouse (and the threats he’s received) – “He has to get on with his life the best he can. I think eventually some anonymity will come back to it. I don’t think he’ll continue to live in this area. It’s too dangerous. He’s had 24-hour security since this happened. We’re thankful the judge protected his address. Everybody in this case, and when I say that I mean prosecution, defense; to me it’s scary how many death threats we’ve had. You know, I was answering my phone on the way back from court in Kenosha, my office isn’t that far. After the third death threat I quit answering the phone.”
On politicians calling Rittenhouse a “vigilante” post-verdict – “Maybe they should have watched the trial.”
You can watch the full press conference with Mark Richards below, and I’d encourage you do to so when you have the time. He does a very good job of providing some insight into how the defense approached the case, as well as rebutting some of the many false claims that have come from Rittenhouse’s accusers in the courtroom and in the media. I don’t think it’s going to stop those false claims from being spread, unfortunately, but the truth is available for those who aren’t completely blinded by their ideology.