“I’ve talked quite a bit about public confidence in the outcome of the trial,” Judge Schroeder said. “It is clear that the appearance of bias is present, and it would seriously undermine the outcome of the case.”
The juror was excused, leaving eight men and 11 women — most of whom are white — on the jury. Ultimately, only 12 members of the jury will deliberate and be asked to reach a verdict. In Kenosha County, where 169,000 people live, 75 percent of residents are white.
A key witness to the shooting of the first victim testified.
Jurors on Thursday heard from a witness with a close-up view of the first of the three shootings. Mr. McGinniss of The Daily Caller testified that he saw Mr. Rittenhouse shoot Mr. Rosenbaum, 36, before Mr. McGinniss helped rush Mr. Rosenbaum to a hospital across the street.
Mr. McGinniss is both a witness and a named victim. One of the criminal counts against Mr. Rittenhouse accuses him of recklessly endangering the safety of Mr. McGinniss, who testified that he quickly checked to see if he had also been shot. Mr. Binger, the prosecutor, has emphasized that Mr. Rosenbaum, who joined the demonstrations that night, was unarmed when Mr. Rittenhouse shot him. Mr. Binger also has attempted to create doubt about Mr. Rittenhouse’s defense — that he was only defending himself — by raising questions about Mr. Rittenhouse’s decisions that night.
Mr. Rittenhouse had run down the street amid demonstrations with a fire extinguisher and a military-style rifle before the shootings began. Questioned about that, Mr. McGinniss testified, “It’s not the way that I was taught to handle a weapon in a public place.”
Mark Richards, Mr. Rittenhouse’s defense lawyer, suggested in his questioning that Mr. Rosenbaum had posed danger to Mr. Rittenhouse in the period before the shooting. Mr. McGinniss told jurors that Mr. Rosenbaum ran at Mr. Rittenhouse, lunged at him and reached for Mr. Rittenhouse’s gun before Mr. Rittenhouse fired. At one point, Mr. McGinniss stood up as he testified to demonstrate how Mr. Rosenbaum had lunged.
The prosecution relied on graphic videos.
As Mr. Binger laid out the prosecution’s case, he replayed in court lengthy videos that were captured on livestreams and cellphones that night. Some videos documented downtown Kenosha in the hours before the shootings, when groups of protesters and armed men lingered outside of gas stations, churches and other buildings.
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