Wisconsin prosecutors yesterday filed six charges against Kyle Rittenhouse stemming from his fatal shooting of two rioters in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Tuesday night. After stating the charges, Rittenhouse’s criminal complaint includes a three-page statement of probable cause against Rittenhouse. However, far from justifying the charges against him, the complaint lays the groundwork for him to be exonerated on almost all charges.
One attorney who spoke to Revolver speculated that political considerations could be behind the complaint’s structure, with the Kenosha County DA’s office fearing repercussions if it failed to bring murder charges against Rittenhouse, but also preparing for those charges to later be dismissed.
First, let’s take a look at the charges.
Experience Revolver without ads
The six charges are:
-First degree reckless homicide, for the death of Joseph Rosenbaum, who was shot in the head after attacking Rittenhouse at a car dealership.
-First degree intentional homicide, for the death of Anthony Huber, who attacked Rittenhouse with a skateboard after he fell to the ground fleeing from a mob.
-Attempted first degree homicide, for shooting Gaige Grosskreutz in the arm during the same attack.
-Two charges of first-degree recklessly endangering safety, one for endangering the life of Daily Caller reporter Richard McGinnis, who was at the scene of the Rosenbaum shooting, and another for endangering an “unknown male” present at the second shooting.
-Possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under 18.
On the first count, of reckless homicide, the account in the charging document clearly lays the groundwork for a self-defense case. The document relies heavily on the testimony of McGinnis.
McGinnis stated that before the defendant reached the parking lot and ran across it, the defendant had moved from the middle of Sheridan Road to the sidewalk and that is when McGinnis saw a male (Rosenbaum) initially try to engage the defendant. McGinnis stated that as the defendant was walking Rosenbaum was trying to get closer to the defendant. When Rosenbaum advanced, the defendant did a “juke” move and started running. McGinnis stated that there were other people that were moving very quickly. McGinnis stated that they were moving towards the defendant. McGinnis said that according to what he saw the defendant was trying to evade these individuals.
The complaint says later:
McGinnis said that the unarmed guy (Rosenbaum) was trying to get the defendant’s gun. McGinnis demonstrated by extending both of his hands in a quick grabbing motion and did that as a visual on how Rosenbaum tried to reach for the defendant’s gun. Detective Cepress indicates that he asked McGinnis if Rosenbaum had his hands on the gun when the defendant shot. McGinnis said that he definitely made a motion that he was trying to grab the barrel of the gun. McGinnis stated that the defendant pulled it away and then raised it. McGinnis stated that right as they came together, the defendant fired.
Experience Revolver without ads
You can read the full complaint here.
Obviously, additional evidence may be forthcoming in the case. But pure based on the complaint alone, Rittenhouse will have an excellent claim of self-defense: He was trying to get away from a man who was attacking him, who finally drew close and attempted to grab his gun. If Rittenhouse was validly defending himself against Rosenbaum, then he is also likely justified on the first charge of recklessly endangering McGinnis’s safety, as Wisconsin law explicitly states:
“The privilege of self-defense extends not only to the intentional infliction of harm upon a real or apparent wrongdoer, but also to the unintended infliction of harm upon a 3rd person, except that if the unintended infliction of harm amounts to the crime of first-degree or 2nd-degree reckless homicide, homicide by negligent handling of dangerous weapon, explosives or fire, first-degree or 2nd-degree reckless injury or injury by negligent handling of dangerous weapon, explosives or fire, the actor is liable for whichever one of those crimes is committed.” [Wisconsin Legal Code]
Given Rittenhouse’s alleged offense against McGinnis includes none of the crimes above, then his use of self-defense should negate the charge. The criminal complaint goes on to describe the second shooting much like the first.
Your complainant reviewed a fourth video that showed a different angle of the defendant running northbound. In this video a person can be heard yelling, “Get him! Get that dude!” Then a male in a light-colored top runs towards the defendant and appears to swing at the defendant with his right arm. This swing makes contact with the defendant, knocking his hat off. The defendant continues to run northbound. On the video a male can be heard saying something to the effect of, “What’d he do?” Another male can be heard responding something to the effect of, “Just shot someone.” Then a male can be heard yelling, “Get his ass!” The defendant then trips and falls to the ground.
As the defendant is on the ground, an unidentified male wearing a dark-colored top and light-colored pants jumps at and over the defendant. Based on the sounds of gunshots on the video and the positioning of the defendant’s gun, it appears that he fires two shots in quick succession at this person. It appears that that person was not hit as he then runs away from the defendant. A second person who was later identified as Anthony Huber approaches the defendant who is still on the ground, on his back. Huber has a skateboard in his right hand. When Huber reaches the defendant it appears that he is reaching for the defendant’s gun with his left hand as the skateboard makes contact with the defendant’s left shoulder. Huber appears to be trying to pull the gun away from the defendant. The defendant rolls towards his left side and as Huber appears to be trying to grab the gun the gun is pointed at Huber’s body. The defendant then fires one round which can be heard on the video.
[T]he defendant moves to a seated position and points his gun at a third male, later identified as Gaige Grosskreutz, who had begun to approach the defendant. When the defendant shot Huber, Grosskreutz freezes and ducks and takes a step back. Grosskreutz puts his hands in the air. Grosskreutz then moves towards the defendant who aims his gun at Grosskreutz and shoots him, firing 1 shot. Grosskreutz was shot in the right arm. Grosskreutz appears to be holding a handgun in his right hand when he was shot.
Once again, the details of the complaint accords with what all video evidence has shown: Rittenhouse was fleeing the scene, attempting to make contact with police, when he fell to the ground and was set upon by a mob intent on hurting him. He only fired upon those who immediately attacked him. When the attack stopped, Rittenhouse stopped firing, and immediately continued to retreat toward police.
It is genuinely astonishing to read this document, knowing that Rittenhouse currently faces life in prison if convicted. The criminal complaint begins by stating its charges and their penalties, and then steadily undermines them with its own narrative. The only charge that remains untouched is the most minor, possessing a dangerous weapon when under 18.
Experience Revolver without ads
Several attorneys who spoke with Revolver described the five-page document as containing an “unusual amount” of exculpatory evidence against Rittenhouse. While prosecutors are required to disclose potential exculpatory evidence prior to a trial, they are not required to do so in an initial criminal complaint. Yet the drafters of Rittenhouse’s complaint did exactly that. Instead of laying out a brief case for Rittenhouse’s potential guilt, they outlined a case for his innocence that was little different from what Rittenhouse’s most ardent defenders would say.
This of course reinforces Revolver’s original analysis that Rittenhouse’s actions were an open and shut case of self-defense—a position that has subsequently been affirmed even by left-wing outlets such as the New York Times.
While that is reassuring for Rittenhouse’s long-term well-being, it is of course deeply worrisome that he was charged at all. The beneficiaries of America’s 2020 two tier system of justice–what is sometimes referred to as “anarcho-tyranny”– know that individuals like Rittenhouse are a grave threat to their plans to dominate America through perpetual chaos and terror. They know Rittenhouse has to be destroyed, completely, to send the message that others will be destroyed the same way if they dare defend themselves from the mob. In the left’s vision of America, all legal outcomes are dictated by roving bands of rioters and Antifa activists.
INITIAL ANALYSIS: All Available Evidence So Far Points to Clear-Cut Case of Self-Defense
Public Service Announcement:
Revolver News is the homepage of the American people. We provide news aggregation, analysis, and cutting-edge exclusives for Americans of all backgrounds and political persuasion. While we greatly respect and admire Matt Drudge, the Drudge Report no longer has its finger on the pulse of America. We aim to fill that void, and much more. Be sure to bookmark our news feed, make it your home page, and check it out on a daily basis.
Please be aware that although we do not like to censor comments, we reserve the right to remove any that are uncivil, vulgar, or completely off-topic.