Referring to the men Kyle Rittenhouse shot during last year’s Kenosha unrest as “rioters,” “looters” or “arsonists” is unfairly prejudicial, the state has argued in court.
It will be hard to avoid prejudice in Rittenhouse’s politically polarizing case.
In a pre-trial motion filed Monday, Wisconsin prosecutors asked Kenosha County Circuit Court Judge Bruce Schroeder to bar Rittenhouse’s attorneys from using the “pejorative” terms to characterize Joseph Rosenbaum, Anthony Huber and Gaige Grosskreutz, Kenosha News reported.
The state also asked Schroeder to prohibit the defense from mentioning the men’s criminal histories or any pending litigation against them.
- “These were not protesters, they were rioters,” Mark Richards, one of Rittenhouse’s attorneys, previously said in trying to persuade the judge Rosenbaum’s prior crimes should be heard at trial.
Rittenhouse, now 18, has been charged with two counts of homicide and one count of attempted homicide for shooting the men during violent racial justice protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Aug. 25, 2020.
- He has pleaded not guilty of all the charges and argued the shootings were in self-defense.
- The trial is scheduled to begin Nov. 1
THE MEN HE SHOT
Rittenhouse, who traveled to Kenosha to help protect local property, shot Rosenbaum, Huber and Grosskreutz during clashes with the three men, all of whom have histories of criminal behavior.
Josh Rosenbaum: chased Rittenhouse into a parking lot and threw a plastic bag at him before being shot.
- Rosenbaum was convicted and sentenced to approximately 15 years in prison for sexually abusing five boys, ages 9 to 11, in Arizona’s Pima County in early 2002, according to a case filed obtained by Snopes.
Anthony Huber: hit Rittenhouse with a skateboard and tried to grab his AR-15 rifle before being shot.
- According to a Dec. 2012 criminal complaint obtained by Snopes, Huber threatened his brother and grandmother with a knife and choked his brother.
- He was charged with strangulation and suffocation and false imprisonment, both felonies.
- In 2018, Huber was charged with disorderly conduct after police responded to a domestic disturbance call at the home he shared with his sister.
Gaige Grosskreutz: approached Rittenhouse with a handgun before being shot.
- In 2016, Grosskreutz was found guilty of violating Wisconsin’s dangerous weapons law after he carried a firearm while intoxicated, according to Milwaukee County court records.
- He was also ticketed on multiple occasions for disobeying police officers and for noise violations.
- Grosskreutz was arrested on suspicion of burglary in 2012, but the charge was dismissed in September 2020.
It has not been established if the men were involved in other acts violence or destruction in Kenosha.
In the court of public opinion, conservatives have charged the media with self-censorship in covering the 2020 racial justice riots.