Kyle Rittenhouse trial live updates: Freelance photographer takes the witness stand – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

We’re into day seven of the trial for Kyle Rittenhouse, the Illinois teenager charged with killing two people and wounding a third during violent protests in Kenosha last year after the police shooting of Jacob Blake. 
In addition to counts of intentional, reckless and attempted homicide, and reckless endangerment, and curfew violation, Rittenhouse, 18, is charged with possessing a firearm as a minor, a misdemeanor.
More: Jurors are likely to hear from Kyle Rittenhouse in the second week of his homicide trial
Check below for updates as Journal Sentinel reporters and photographers cover the trial. You can also read about what happened on day one, day twothree, fourfive and six of the trial.
The trial is expected to last at least through the week.
A freelance photographer on the witness stand Tuesday afternoon had a tense exchange with prosecutors.
Kenosha resident Nathan DeBruin, who took several photos during the unrest and was nearby when Rittenhouse shot Anthony Huber and Gaige Grosskreutz, was brought as a witness for the defense.
Prosecutors initially subpoenaed DeBruin, but when they met with him before the trial began, DeBruin was upset when they asked if he wanted to add any details to the statement he gave to police in September 2020.
DeBruin testified that he didn’t want to change his statement. He hired an attorney and decided to become a witness for the defense.
The event became fodder for an article on a conservative blog run by Kevin Mathewson, a former Kenosha city alderman and the man who put out that Facebook post calling for people to show up and protect the city.
During cross-examination Tuesday, Assistant District Attorney James Kraus questioned DeBruin about their acrimonious meeting.
Also, Mathewson and Kraus got into an argument about the article during a break in the hearing before Judge Bruce Schroeder told them to stop. Mathewson was also seen smiling when his article was brought up during the testimony.
Kraus asked why DeBruin included certain details in his statement — such as witnessing a Joseph Rosenbaum tip over a port-a-potty — but not other details he mentioned on the stand Tuesday, such as his testimony that Grosskreutz was pointing a gun at Rittenhouse.
DeBruin said he was nervous last September when he was giving the statement. He denied that he was adding details he had read or heard about but not witnessed.
The jury broke for the day shortly before 5 p.m.
— Sophie Carson
The defense’s case continued Tuesday afternoon with the testimony of JoAnn Fiedler, another person who was protecting Car Source while armed along with Kyle Rittenhouse.
Fiedler, 56, said she drove to Kenosha from her home in West Bend with a handgun to protect property. She wound up at the same Car Source property as Rittenhouse.
At one point in the night, Fiedler said groups of protesters walking by were taunting her and other armed individuals, calling her “blondie” and telling her to put her gun away. She described interactions with protesters as friendly in the beginning, however.
She said she distinctly remembered seeing Joseph Rosenbaum, who was making much more aggressive remarks.
She said Rosenbaum was shouting about how he was going to kill them, and used the N-word.
“You kinda are just frozen at the verbiage and the threats coming out of him,” Fiedler told defense attorney Corey Chirafisi. “I mean the whole night was quite shocking, but we didn’t really do anything, we just kind of stood there. You have to ignore that.”
Other witnesses who have testified have noted Rosenbaum’s aggressive behavior that night, but several also said they did not take Rosenbaum seriously and did not consider him a threat.
During cross-examination from Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger, Fiedler agreed. She said from a distance, she didn’t think he was a threat.
In another line of questioning, Fiedler described the moment Rittenhouse returned to the Car Source property after shooting Rosenbaum and two other men. She said he was pale, shaking, stammering and “totally in shock.”
Rittenhouse told her and others he shot someone and had to do it but did not detail the incidents at all beyond that. At one point, she said, Rittenhouse pulled his hair back and said, “My god, my life might be over.”
Fiedler then took possession of Rittenhouse’s gun and retried contacting his friend, Dominick Black, who was stationed on the roof of the business.
— Elliott Hughes
The prosecution formally rested its case just after Tuesday’s lunch break.
Judge Bruce Schroeder dismissed the curfew violation charge against Rittenhouse after the defense argued the prosecution hadn’t presented evidence on it.
The defense introduced its first witness, Nicholas Smith, who said he was asked by his former employers to guard Car Source on the evening of Aug. 25.
Smith met his friend, Dominic Black, and Rittenhouse at the car lot to protect it at the request of Anmol “Sam” Khindri. He testified that Khindri had asked him and another employee to put out fires at the business the night prior.
Smith said he did not witness any of Rittenhouse’s shootings but saw him afterward. Rittenhouse was sitting on the floor of the Car Source and looked sweaty and pale, Smith testified.
Rittenhouse repeated, “I just shot someone,” Smith said. He also testified that he remembers Rittenhouse saying something like, “I had to shoot someone.”
Smith also said he had gone in earlier in the day to withdraw money from his bank to purchase body armor. He doesn’t remember why, but he ended up using body armor Rittenhouse gave him. 
Smith said he was not armed until Ryan Balch gave him a handgun. Balch and a group of other armed people arrived at the Car Source and asked if Smith and his friends needed help protecting the property. Smith testified that he accepted the help and did not know Balch’s group before that night.
— Sophie Carson
Prosecutors and defense attorneys Tuesday morning focused on the gunshot wounds Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber suffered.
As they questioned Dr. Doug Kelley, a forensic pathologist with the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office, attorneys spent a considerable amount of time on the position the victims were likely in when they were struck by Rittenhouse’s gunfire.
Rosenbaum suffered four shots within one second. Based on the autopsy and video footage, Kelley said he believed the first shot struck his hip. The second shot struck his hand, then the third and fourth shots to his back and head likely occurred as he was in a more horizontal position.
Prosecutors argued Rosenbaum could have been in the position because he was falling. The defense said he could have been lunging toward Rittenhouse.
Kelley’s testimony concluded shortly before noon. The jury took a break for lunch.
— Sophie Carson
Kenosha County Sheriff’s deputies caught someone recording video of jurors Tuesday morning as they assembled outside the courthouse.
Before proceedings began Tuesday, Judge Bruce Schroeder said deputies made sure the video was deleted and new procedures are in place to prevent it from happening again.
“So I don’t have any particular concern about it anymore,” he said. “Very sensitive to this entire issue and on guard about it.”
Schroeder said the recording was taken at an undisclosed location where jurors are picked up by a bus and taken to the Kenosha County Courthouse.
Schroeder said he was not sure if the person who made the recording has been attending the trial. 
Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. David Wright said deputies were still investigating the matter and declined further comment.
Elliot Hughes
Last week, the prosecutor said he expected to wrap the state’s case by Tuesday. At the end of a major day of testimony Monday, it was unclear if he’d make that aspirational deadline.
For the second time in the trial Judge Bruce Schroeder left the case with a bit of a cliff hanger on Monday. After the last witness of the day was excused, Schroeder called a sheriff’s deputy and the Clerk of Court to the bench for about a five-minute conversation. 
Then he called up the lawyers for another few minutes before they all retired to his chambers or the library.
In all about 15 minutes passed before the lawyers returned. They wouldn’t answer questions about what was discussed, and Schroeder never returned. 
It is likely he would start Tuesday’s proceedings by making a record of the mystery matter.
Recapping the rest of the day: In highly-anticipated testimony, Gaige Grosskruetz said he feared for his life as Rittenhouse turned his rifle at him right after fatally shooting Anthony Huber.
By Grosskreutz’s testimony, Rittenhouse first tried to shoot him while his hands were up, but the rifle jammed.
Though he was holding his own handgun, he didn’t shoot before Rittenhouse fired a round into Grosskreutz’s right bicep. He said he considered Rittenhouse an “active shooter,” and was trying to disarm him with a non-lethal lunge that came too late.
Some jurors turned away when graphic video showed Grosskreutz’s gaping arm wound, which he said permanently destroyed muscle and left him with no feeling in his forearm. 
The defense portrayed Grosskreutz as drawing his gun to chase the defendant, and lying about the gun to police, and seeking conviction to aid his own civil rights lawsuit against the city and county of Kenosha.
A key player in the events leading up to the shootings has yet to testify, though he was on deck to do so one day last week. Joshua Ziminski is seen on many videos standing close to Joseph Rosenbaum, the first person Rittenhouse killed. He also fired a gun in the air just as Rosenbaum was closing in on a fleeing Rittenhouse after a short chase. Ziminiski is facing charges for firing the shot, along with a count of arson.
Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger did introduce some newly obtained drone video he said will show Rosenbaum never got closer than about four feet to Rittenhouse before he was shot. 
Defense attorney Corey Chirafisi – who has taken over almost all the cross-examination in the case – seemed to discount the claim, saying Rosenbaum had marks on his body called stippling left when someone is shot with a firearm at close range.
Kenosha Police Det. Ben Antaramian testified that he only obtained the high-resolution version of the video, first shown on a conservative TV show last year, on Friday. Only a short clip was shown Monday, without much analysis. 
Some of the 18 jurors seemed to have filled the notepads they given a week ago.
—  Bruce Vielmetti
During continued questioning Monday afternoon, prosecutors tried to argue that Gaige Grosskreutz did not present a threat to Rittenhouse even though he was holding a handgun.
Defense attorneys tried to argue that Rittenhouse had no way of knowing Grosskreutz wouldn’t fire his gun as he approached.
Grosskreutz testified earlier that he put his hands in the air after Rittenhouse shot Anthony Huber. He saw Rittenhouse “re-rack” his rifle, making him believe Rittenhouse wouldn’t “accept (his) surrender.” Then, he said, he moved toward Rittenhouse.
Under questioning, Grosskreutz acknowledged he had his gun in his hand as he approached, but that he wasn’t “intentionally” pointing it at Rittenhouse.
Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger asked: if Grosskreutz’s intention was to shoot Rittenhouse, would he have gotten as close as he did?
Grosskreutz said no.
Defense attorney Corey Chirafisi argued that nonverbal actions Grosskreutz took — such as moving toward Rittenhouse with a gun in his hand — would have made Rittenhouse feel threatened.
The defense also focused on a signed police statement Grosskreutz gave the day after he was shot about his brief conversation with Rittenhouse. The conversation occurred after Rittenhouse had shot Joseph Rosenbaum and before he fired at Huber and Grosskreutz.
In the statement, Grosskreutz reported Rittenhouse had said something like “he pulled a gun on me” when asked if he shot somebody.
Grosskreutz was livestreaming on Facebook during the interaction. A replay of the video revealed Rittenhouse made no such comment, which Grosskreutz acknowledged Tuesday.
In an attempt to explain the inconsistencies in the statements, Binger asked Grosskreutz if he had watched the livestream again before he gave the statement to police.
Grosskreutz said no; he had woken up from surgery a few hours earlier and didn’t have his phone with him.
Grosskreutz also denied ever uttering a comment his former roommate posted on Facebook. The roommate wrote that Grosskreutz’s “only regret was not killing the kid” and that he had wanted to empty his “entire mag” into Rittenhouse.
— Sophie Carson
In a lengthy cross-examination Monday, defense attorney Corey Chirafisi made a broad attempt at discrediting Gaige Grosskreutz, who was shot in the arm by Kyle Rittenhouse.
Over the course of an hour, Chirafisi got Grosskreutz to admit that several of his statements made to police shortly after the shooting included either incorrect details or omitted others — most notably that Grosskreutz pointed a gun at Rittenhouse before Rittenhouse fired on him.
Grosskreutz initially told police that he dropped his gun at some point during the incident and didn’t mention that he pointed it at Rittenhouse. 
He said it was not an intentional omission, noting that his interview with police occurred after surgery, while he was still on pain medication and coming down from the traumatic events of the shooting. 
But, after questioning from Chirafisi, Grosskreutz did acknowledge it was the only detail he failed to mention, having been able to even describe the clothing Rittenhouse wore the night of the shooting.
In a follow-up interview with police in September 2020, Grosskreutz told Chirafisi he refused to answer questions about the shooting on the advice of his lawyer, Kimberley Motley.
Grosskreutz was conceal-carrying a Glock the night of the Rittenhouse shootings but said Monday that his concealed carry permit was expired at the time.
After Grosskreutz told prosecutors earlier Monday morning that he attended the protests as a medic and was not trying to be an active participant in the protests, Chirafisi also sought to connect Grosskreutz with protesters. 
Under questioning, Grosskreutz acknowledged that he had spoken at a rally hosted by The Peoples Revolution — a Milwaukee-based group that has protested against police violence — and made statements such as, “long live the revolution.” Grosskreutz said he is not a member of the group but has “an affiliation” with them.
Grosskreutz, who has filed suit against Kenosha officials over the shooting, was asked by Chirafisi if he stood better odds of winning a monetary award in that litigation if Rittenhouse is convicted. Grosskreutz said he didn’t know that to be true.
Prosecutors on Monday morning sought to contrast the paramedic training of Gaige Grosskreutz from the teenage Rittenhouse, who shot him in the arm.
Grosskreutz also testified that after hearing the initial gunshots, he followed Rittenhouse because he believed he was an active shooter.
Grosskreutz said that while he was armed with a handgun, he did not intend to shoot Rittenhouse.
“That’s not the kind of person I am,” he testified. “That’s not why I was out there, that’s not why I was out there for 75 days prior to that, why I spent — up until that point — spent my time, my money, my education, providing care to people.”
Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger showed graphic videos and photos of the moment Grosskreutz was shot as well as the moments afterward, as bystanders and two armed men tried to apply a tourniquet.
Grosskreutz, a Milwaukee resident, trained to become an EMT and later an EMT paramedic and wilderness first responder. He previously worked for private ambulance companies, he said.
He and a friend, also a trained EMT, spent at least 75 days out with prominent protest organizers earlier in the summer acting as medics, Grosskreutz testified.
Binger said he was trying to show the jurors the difference between Grosskreutz’s training and experience and Rittenhouse’s. At 17, Rittenhouse was a lifeguard and was not certified as an EMT but told people he was acting as a medic.
Grosskreutz testified that he went to Kenosha alone on Aug. 25 with medical supplies and his handgun, for which the concealed carry permit had expired.
He said he had noticed Rittenhouse earlier and took note of his AR-15-style rifle. Asked about whether he would have worn the blue surgical gloves Rittenhouse was wearing throughout the night for the length of time Rittenhouse did, Grosskreutz said, “never.” It would be unhygienic, he said.
Grosskreutz was also livestreaming on Facebook and captured the moment he heard the gunshots that killed Rosenbaum. Grosskreutz ran toward the shots and encountered Rittenhouse, running in the opposite direction.
He believed Rittenhouse was an active shooter, he testified. He took his handgun out and said he only intended to use it “if I had to.”
After Rittenhouse shot Anthony Huber, Grosskreutz, a few feet away, put his hands in the air and testified he saw Rittenhouse “re-rack” his rifle. Grosskreutz said he believed Rittenhouse was not “accepting my surrender” and the only way for him to survive was to close the distance with Rittenhouse.
Then Rittenhouse shot him, according to a bystander video shown during the trial.
“I was never trying to kill the defendant. That was never something that I was trying to do. In that moment, I was trying to preserve my own life,” Grosskreutz testified. “But doing so while also taking the life of another is not something that I’m capable or comfortable of doing. That goes against almost a lifelong ethical code that I’ve lived by in regards to medicine.”
Prosecutors’ questioning of Grosskreutz continued Monday morning.
— Sophie Carson
On Friday, two members of the family that owns three car lot properties along Sheridan Road in Kenosha denied ever making arrangements for Kyle Rittenhouse or anyone to protect their businesses during the days of unrest after the shooting of Jacob Blake.
Brothers Anmol and Sahil Khindri had both met Rittenhouse and other armed men on Aug. 25, 2020 – the day Rittenhouse shot and killed two people. But both told the jury Friday afternoon they never asked or gave permission for anyone to watch over their properties that night.
Their parents, who are both involved in managing the business, were not yet called to the witness stand.
But their testimony contradicts that of Dominick Black, who accompanied Rittenhouse to Kenosha that night. He testified earlier last week that they made arrangements with the family to protect the business. By that day, one of the family’s three business properties had already been torched by arson during civil unrest.
During questioning, Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger showed a screenshot of a text message sent to Anmol Khindri, who goes by Sam. The message said:
“Hey Sam it’s Kyle do you need anyone to protect your business tonight im more then willing and will be armed i just need address.”
A second message read: “Me and my brother would both be thwre armed.”
The screenshot did not show a reply from Anmol Khindri. He told Binger he didn’t see the message until Aug. 26. He said he gave his number to countless people on Aug. 25 because the business received a flood of attention after one of its properties was destroyed.
Anmol Khindri said he and staff took steps to secure cars and other equipment on their properties Aug. 25 but never arranged for armed men to watch over it.
Sahil Khindri, who said he does not work at either of the three businesses, was photographed posing with Rittenhouse, Black and other armed men on Aug. 25. But Sahil Khindri said he only did so because he was impressed with their military-style equipment.
— Elliot Hughes

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