Rittenhouse Defense Seeks Mistrial, Claims Prosecutors Withheld Key Video

Rittenhouse Defense Seeks Mistrial, Claims Prosecutors Withheld Key Video kyle rittenhouse sits next to attorney in court room Kyle Rittenhouse (R) sits with defense attorney Corey Chirafisi before closing arguments during his trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse on Nov. 15, 2021, in Kenosha, Wisconsin. (Mark Hertzberg-Pool/Getty Images)

By Charlie McCarthy | Wednesday, 17 November 2021 10:08 AM

Kyle Rittenhouse's lawyers filed a motion for mistrial, accusing prosecutors of holding back key video footage.

Court documents showed that a formal seven-page motion was filed based on prosecutorial misconduct shortly before Monday's closing arguments, the Chicago Tribune reported Tuesday.

Rittenhouse, 18, is charged with killing two men and wounding a third during protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Aug. 25, 2020. The demonstrations and violence followed the police shooting of a Black man, Jacob Blake, who was left paralyzed from the waist down.

The case has gone to the jury, which ended its first day of deliberations without reaching a verdict on Tuesday.

The mistrial request will be moot if the jury acquits Rittenhouse of five felony charges, so it appears the judge will not address the issue until after deliberations, the Tribune said.

Rittenhouse faces life in prison if convicted.

The defense team's motion argues that any conviction should be overruled and seeks to forbid any chance of a retrial.

The motion accuses prosecutors of not properly sharing a piece of video evidence. It asserts that prosecutors held back high-resolution drone footage used to try to suggest that Rittenhouse was the aggressor when he claimed self-defense before the first shooting.

Defense lawyers were given a low-res version, and received the better-quality clip on Saturday, after testimony had concluded.

Prosecutors say one of the victims, Joseph Rosenbaum, chased Rittenhouse across a used car lot before the teen turned and shot him four times with an AR-15-style rifle.

"The video footage has been at the center of this case," the defense motion states, further calling it the "linchpin in their case," the New York Post reported.

The motion also cited an issue that arose last week, when the judge berated an assistant district attorney for ignoring a pretrial order barring the jury from hearing certain evidence, and for infringing on Rittenhouse’s right to remain silent upon his arrest, the Tribune said.

Rittenhouse, then 17, fatally shot Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber, and wounded Gaige Grosskreutz during Kenosha's unrest surrounding the shooting of Blake by a white police officer.