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Court Calls Recess After Rittenhouse Breaks Down Testifying at Trial; Kyle Rittenhouse Testifies in His Own Defense in Homicide Trial; Prosecution Cross-Examines Kyle Rittenhouse in Homicide Trial. Aired 11:30a-12p ET
Aired November 10, 2021 - 11:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN AT THIS HOUR: On the ground, outside the courthouse in Wisconsin.
And, Shimon, you have been watching this trial day in and day out. This is the first full day for the defense to be calling witnesses, and this is after prosecutors wrapped their arguments calling 22 witnesses.
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Yes. So, the thing that's been one of the more interesting things in watching this trial, sitting in the courtroom, looking at the jury, the jury has been paying attention, many of them taking notes throughout this entire trial. Sometimes you watch trials and jurors kind of doze off. Really, I have to tell you, like sitting in the courtroom and watching these jurors, they're all paying really close attention, many times taking notes any time any witness comes in.
One of the other things that's been interesting, and I've watched many trials and I've worked on trials in my previous jobs, is that nothing here has been very clean. Each witness almost has some kind of issue that the people who were shot in this instance also had issues. We're hearing Kyle Rittenhouse for the first time explain some of the fears he had, and seeing one of the people he shot, Joseph Rosenbaum, and the way he was acting. And we're going to hear more about that concerning other people who were shot. One of the people who was shot, Gaige Grosskreutz, he had a gun on him.
So, nothing here has been very, very clean and that is what I think makes such a difficult case for the prosecution and probably simply makes it easier for the defense to call Kyle Rittenhouse to the stand. Because, as Paul was saying, the jurors are going to have to consider what Rittenhouse was thinking in his mind at the time. It's all about what is going through his mind in those moments when he's firing that AR-15-style rifle. And that's going to be a big, big part of this.
And we're starting to see some of what Kyle Rittenhouse is telling us, some of what he was feeling. You can sense already his emotion and some of how he is reacting to having sat through this trial now, looking at a lot of the video. There was a moment yesterday when the medical examiner was showing autopsy photos of the people he shot and killed, and Rittenhouse couldn't even look at those photos. He had to put his head down.
So, you're starting to see what's probably going to be a day of really emotional and tough testimony from Kyle Rittenhouse.
BOLDUAN: Shimon, stick with me. Paul and Laura, they're stick with us as well. We're going to get in a quick break because this trial is going to start back up. And we'll continue, we would expect, with more live testimony of Kyle Rittenhouse.
We'll be right back.
BOLDUAN: We're following breaking news. We're in the midst of a brief recess, in the midst of a brief recess in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial after Rittenhouse took the stand and broke down on the stand under questioning by his own attorney, his defense team. He's charged with shooting and killing two people, shooting and injuring another, during protesters that followed the police shooting of Jacob Blake last summer in Kenosha, Wisconsin. This is the first full day of witness testimony for the defense team.
Let's get to Wisconsin right now. Shimon Prokupecz is standing by He's got some more detail from what's been happening inside the courtroom. Shimon, what are you hearing?
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Right. So, Kate, we're getting our first indications from the -- how the jury is so far reacting from this testimony. It comes from a pool reporter, a reporter who is inside the courtroom, and describes that when the judge called the recess as Rittenhouse was getting emotional, as we saw, says that the jurors looked up at him in apparent sympathy as he continued to cry. The jurors were told to leave the courtroom. And that's when the judge took that ten-minute break. And that's when this happened, Kate.
BOLDUAN: Shimon, I'm going to interrupt because the judge is starting things back up in the courtroom. Let's jump back in.
MARK RICHARDS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY FOR KYLE RITTENHOUSE: You were testifying about coming into contact with Mr. Rosenbaum.
KYLE RITTENHOUSE, DEFENDANT: Yes.
RICHARDS: And you saw Mr. Rosenbaum. What happened?
RITTENHOUSE: Once I got to that car and I stepped forward to put that fire in the Duramax out and Mr. Zaminsky stopped towards me, I went to run south, back south down Sheridan, and Mr. Rosenbaum was right at the corner of the Duramax starting to chase me. That's when I realized the only place I can run with the people around me is straight towards the building of the Car Source lot number three.
RICHARDS: When you saw Mr. Rosenbaum, that's when you said friendly, friendly?
RITTENHOUSE: When I heard burn inside, I don't know exactly what I was at in at the time for that.
RICHARDS: Did Mr. Rosenbaum say anything to you?
RITTENHOUSE: No. Mr. Zaminsky instructed Mr. Rosenbaum to get him and kill him. That's what I heard.
RICHARDS: You go running to what's been referred to the southwest corner of Car Source?
RICHARDS: And as you're running in that direction, describe being chased, what was happening?
RITTENHOUSE: As I'm running in that southwest direction, Mr. Rosenbaum throws -- at the time, I know it's a bag now, but when he threw it at me with the light, it looked silver and it looked like the chain when he threw it at me. And then I turn around for about a second while continuing to run and I point my gun at Mr. Rosenbaum.
RICHARDS: Does that stop him from chasing you?
RITTENHOUSE: It does not.
RICHARDS: Okay. After you turn around, and you had your hands up kind of in a low ready position --
RICHARDS: -- and you see Mr. Rosenbaum coming at you?
RICHARDS: And what do you do then?
RITTENHOUSE: After he throws the bag and he continues to run, he's gaining speed on me, a gunshot is fired from behind me, directly behind me. And I take a few steps, and that's when I turn around. And as I'm turning around, Mr. Rosenbaum is -- I would say, from me to where the judge is -- coming at me with his arms out in front of him. He -- I remember his hand on the barrel of my gun.
RICHARDS: Why didn't you just keep running?
RITTENHOUSE: When I was over there, there were about 100 people surrounding those cars and there was no space for me to continue to run to.
RICHARDS: And so you turned around?
RICHARDS: And as you see him lunging at you, what do you do?
RITTENHOUSE: I shoot him.
RICHARDS: And how many times did you shoot?
RITTENHOUSE: I believe four.
RICHARDS: And after you shot him, what did you do?
RITTENHOUSE: The people around the cars that were originally there were not there anymore. They moved away. And I ran around to see if I could help Mr. Rosenbaum.
RICHARDS: And when you got to Mr. Rosenbaum, what was happening?
RITTENHOUSE: Mr. McGinnis was -- he took off his helmet and slammed it on the ground and took off his shirt. And I don't remember what he said. I wasn't focused on that. I was in shock sort of.
RICHARDS: Let me back up a second. Did you know Mr. McGinnis was even around?
RITTENHOUSE: I didn't.
RICHARDS: And he says something to you, and what do you do?
RITTENHOUSE: I pull out my phone and I call Dominick Black.
RICHARDS: And you called Dominick and what did you say?
RITTENHOUSE: I told him I just shot somebody. I had to shoot him.
RICHARDS: And what do you do then?
RITTENHOUSE: I now know it to be Kelly Zaminsky, Joshua Zaminsky, I don't know what, the other people were screaming, get his ass, get his ass, get him, get him, get him.
RICHARDS: And based upon that, did you feel as though you were safe to stay where you were at?
RITTENHOUSE: I thought the safest option would be to go north down Sheridan to turn myself into law enforcement down there.
RICHARDS: And as you head down Sheridan Road, describe what's going on.
RITTENHOUSE: As I'm running, at first, I'm in the sidewalk, and Mr. Lachowski, Jason Lachowski is in the sidewalk. And I stop to talk to Mr. Lachowski for a brief second. I remember telling him that I just shot somebody and I need held to get to the police because the crowd -- not a crowd, a mob was chasing me. RICHARDS: And Did Mr. Lachowski offer you any help?
RITTENHOUSE: I don't remember.
RICHARDS: What do you do then?
RITTENHOUSE: I continue to run after hearing people say -- people were saying, cranium him, get him, kill him. People were screaming and I just was trying to get to the police running down Sheridan Road.
RICHARDS: When you say, I'm trying to get to the place, why were you trying to get to the police?
RITTENHOUSE: Because I didn't do anything wrong. I defended myself.
RICHARDS: Did you feel as though there was safety where the police were?
RICHARDS: And as you head down Sheridan Road, what's the next thing you remember?
RITTENHOUSE: The next thing I remember is Anthony Huber striking me in the head with a skateboard.
RICHARDS: Okay. As you sit here today, do you remember talking to Gaige Grosskreutz.
RITTENHOUSE: Yes, sort of a little bit. I didn't know it was Gaige Grosskreutz when he came up to me, but sort of.
RICHARDS: Okay. And when this individual runs up to you, gets how close?
RITTENHOUSE: I would say within a foot.
RICHARDS: Did you shoot him?
RITTENHOUSE: I did not.
RICHARDS: Did you point your gun at him?
RITTENHOUSE: I did not.
RICHARDS: Why not?
RITTENHOUSE: I didn't see him as a threat to my safety or life.
RICHARDS: And was he armed at that time?
RITTENHOUSE: Not that I noticed.
RICHARDS: And you continue running in a northerly direction down Sheridan Road?
RICHARDS: And as you're running in that direction, you say the next thing you remember is Anthony Huber.
RICHARDS: Describe that.
RITTENHOUSE: Anthony Huber, what I remember is running past Anthony Huber. And as I'm running past Mr. Huber, he's holding a skateboard like a baseball bat, and he swings it down and I block it with my arm trying to prevent it from hitting me but it still hits me in the neck. And as I block it, it goes flying somewhere off in the distance.
RICHARDS: And did you stop then?
RICHARDS: What do you do next?
RITTENHOUSE: I keep running down Sheridan Road towards the police line.
RICHARDS: Then what happens?
RITTENHOUSE: I get light-headed. I almost pass out and I stumble and hit the ground.
RICHARDS: Okay. Before you hit the ground, how many times were you struck?
RITTENHOUSE: I believe twice.
RICHARDS: Okay. Do you remember anything about the other one?
RITTENHOUSE: I remember the first one being a rock. I don't remember who did it. But I remember like the bumpiness of like a concrete rock hitting me in the back of the head.
RICHARDS: Okay. Now, after being struck with Mr. Huber's skateboard, you end up on the ground?
RICHARDS: You're on the ground. What's the first thing you remember?
RITTENHOUSE: As I'm on the ground, there are people around me. I don't recall how many, but I remember moving my rifle in their direction and they back off besides one person.
RICHARDS: Okay. When you notice people by you, you said you moved your rifle in their direction?
RITTENHOUSE: Yes. RICHARDS: Did that individual keep coming?
RITTENHOUSE: The last person did.
RICHARDS: Okay. The people that stopped, what did you do to them?
RICHARDS: And you're saying the last person in that group continued to come at you?
RICHARDS: And describe what happens.
RITTENHOUSE: The last person -- I don't know his name, I don't think he was ever identified -- jumps at me with -- he was wearing boots, I believe. And as he's running at me and jumping, as his boot is making contact with my face, I fired two shots at him.
RICHARDS: Why did you shoot at him?
RITTENHOUSE: I thought if I were to be knocked out or -- he would have stomped my face in if I didn't fire.
RICHARDS: As a resulted of being kicked in the face, what happens?
RITTENHOUSE: Mr. Huber, immediately after I'm kicked in the face, runs up as I'm sitting up, to try to get up and get to the police. I'm on my back. Mr. Huber runs up. As I'm getting up, he strikes me in the neck with his skateboard a second time.
RICHARDS: Then what happened?
RITTENHOUSE: He grabs my gun, and I can feel it pulling away from me. And I can feel the strap starting to come off my body.
RICHARDS: And what do you do then?
RITTENHOUSE: I fire one shot.
RICHARDS: After you fire striking who we now know is Mr. Huber, what do you do?
RITTENHOUSE: I lower my weapon. And I see Mr. Grosskreutz with his hands up. And as I'm lowering my weapon, I look down and then Mr. Grosskreutz, he lunges at me with his pistol pointed directly at my head.
RICHARDS: Now, you heard Mr. Grosskreutz's testimony about re- racking?
RICHARDS: Did you re-rack your weapon?
RITTENHOUSE: I did not.
RICHARDS: Could I have the exhibit, please?
Showing what's previously marked as exhibit 28, do you recognize this?
RITTENHOUSE: I do.
RICHARDS: Now, when somebody would, as Mr. Grosskreutz said, re-rack, it's like this?
RICHARDS: Do you call it re-racking?
RITTENHOUSE: I call it charging, putting a live round into the chamber.
RICHARDS: And to recharge, you have to pull this all the way back?
RICHARDS: Say that's about four inches? No, I'm asking you if you agree with that approximation. Mr. Rittenhouse, how far do you think that is?
RITTENHOUSE: Three to four inches.
RICHARDS: And if a weapon is loaded and you re-rack, what happens?
RITTENHOUSE: If there's already a round in the chamber when you re- rack the rifle, a live round would come out chambering a new round into the chamber.
RICHARDS: Now, we got to the point where Mr. Grosskreutz is standing in front of you, has his hands up.
RICHARDS: And you aware that he's unarmed?
RITTENHOUSE: At that point, I do see a pistol in his hand.
RICHARDS: Is that the same or different from your first encounter with Mr. Grosskreutz?
RITTENHOUSE: That is different.
RICHARDS: And he is standing, you said, how close to you?
RITTENHOUSE: What I remember is our feet were touching what it seemed like.
RICHARDS: Okay. And you do what? RITTENHOUSE: My rifle is down. His hands are up. His pistol is in his hand. And then Mr. Grosskreutz looks at me, and that's when Mr. Grosskreutz brings his arm down like this, like his arm is like that with me on the ground and his pistol is pointed at me and that's when I shoot him.
RICHARDS: How many times did you shoot him?
RICHARDS: And after you shoot him, do you know where you shot him?
RICHARDS: What happens after you shoot him?
RITTENHOUSE: He's no longer a threat to me. There's only -- there's only one person in front me and his hands are up. I briefly point my rifle at him and I get on to one knee getting up, and he backs up with his hands up and I don't shoot him.
RICHARDS: Did you notice anybody to your sides?
RITTENHOUSE: To my left, there was a gentleman with a pipe. And to my right I believe it was a fence post. I don't know what it was but it was a large object.
RICHARDS: Once you're to your feet, what do you do?
RITTENHOUSE: I start walking towards the police line to turn myself into the police.
RICHARDS: Describe where is the police line? Is it still in the same place?
RITTENHOUSE: It moved up a little bit. I was down in the road about approximately right here, I'd say over here somewhere in this area. I don't remember exactly, but the police line was right here. I could see the flashing lights as I was trying to get to the police before.
RICHARDS: And as you go to the police line, describe what happens.
RITTENHOUSE: I run and walk. I put my hands up. And as I'm walking towards the police, I can't really hear anything. My vision is very narrow. I can only see directly in front of me. I see the flashing lights. I remember I occasionally try to move my rifle behind me, to put it behind me so I could -- so the police didn't see me as a threat when I tried to turn myself in. I continue to walk and then I walk towards the window of the sedan, the police cruiser sedan. I don't know what they're called. And I tell the officer I just shot somebody, I just shot somebody. And the officer says get the fuck back or you're going to get pepper sprayed, go home, go home, go home.
RICHARDS: And where do you go after you step back from the police car?
RITTENHOUSE: I go to Car Source number two.
RICHARDS: And now there wasn't line there, they weren't stopping people from going in a northerly direction?
RITTENHOUSE: No, they weren't.
RICHARDS: And you go Car Source, what we refer to as Car Source number two, and who do you see?
RITTENHOUSE: I get there and I see -- I think the first person I see is JoAnn Fiedler.
I don't remember exactly but I believe that's who's outside the door. They let me inside. The door was locked so somebody had to get the key to unlock it. And then we go inside and I'm in shock. I don't really remember what was happening in there. I was -- I was freaking out. I was just attacked. My head was spinning.
RICHARDS: And did you go and turn yourself into the Kenosha Police Department?
RITTENHOUSE: I did not.
RICHARDS: Why not?
RITTENHOUSE: The Kenosha Police Department was barricaded off with a fence, and I don't think they were accepting anybody to come to the police department at that time.
RICHARDS: What did you do then?
RITTENHOUSE: I went to the nearest police department that I knew of, which was Antioch Police Department in Illinois by my house.
RICHARDS: Who took you there?
RITTENHOUSE: My mother.
RICHARDS: Okay. How did you get to Antioch from Downtown Kenosha?
RITTENHOUSE: Dominic Black drove me.
RICHARDS: And then Dominic Black drives you where?
RITTENHOUSE: He drives me to my house in Antioch, Illinois, where I meet with my mother and sisters and I sort of tell them what happened. I was still in shock. My head was still spinning and then we go to the Antioch Police Department, where I turned myself in.
RICHARDS: Who drove you to the Antioch Police Department?
RITTENHOUSE: My mother.
RICHARDS: And did anybody else go with you? RITTENHOUSE: Not at first.
RICHARDS: And you get to the Antioch Police Department approximately what time?
RITTENHOUSE: I would say an hour after the shooting.
RICHARDS: And when you get there, are they looking for you?
RICHARDS: Did you have to explain to somebody?
RITTENHOUSE: I had to tell them I was just involved in a shooting in Kenosha and I needed Kenosha detectives.
RICHARDS: Did they take you into custody immediately?
RICHARDS: What did they do?
RITTENHOUSE: They had me sit in the lobby of the police department.
RICHARDS: Were you handcuffed to a chair?
RITTENHOUSE: I was not.
RICHARDS: Did you stay there?
RITTENHOUSE: For about -- I couldn't give you the exact time but until the Detective Howard and Detective Antaramian showed up.
RICHARDS: And were you having any physical discomfort as you waited there?
RITTENHOUSE: I was vomiting and having panic attacks and my head was spinning and I couldn't think clearly at that point.
RICHARDS: I have nothing further.
THOMAS BINGER, KENOSHA COUNTY ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY: Good morning, Mr. Rittenhouse.
RITTENHOUSE: Good morning.
BINGER: Everybody you shot at that night you intended to kill, correct?
RITTENHOUSE: I didn't intend to kill them. I intended to stop the people who were attacking me.
BINGER: By killing them.
RITTENHOUSE: I did what I had to do to stop the person who was attacking me. BINGER: By killing them?
RITTENHOUSE: Two of them passed away, but I stopped the threat from attacking me.
BINGER: By using deadly force.
RITTENHOUSE: I used deadly force.
BINGER: That you knew was going to kill them.
RITTENHOUSE: I didn't know if it was going to kill them, but I used deadly force to stop the threat that was attacking me.
BINGER: You intentionally used deadly force against Joseph Rosenbaum, correct?
BINGER: You intentionally used deadly force against the man who came in and tried to kick you in the face, correct?
BINGER: You intentionally used deadly force against Anthony Huber, correct?
BINGER: You intentionally used deadly force against Gaige Grosskreutz, correct?
BINGER: With regard to Joseph Rosenbaum, you fired four shots at him, correct?
BINGER: You intended to kill him, correct?
RITTENHOUSE: I didn't intend to kill him. I intended to stop the person who was attacking me and trying to steal my gun.
BINGER: Since August 25, 2020, this is the first time that you have told your story.
RICHARDS: I object to this.
JUDGE BRUCE SCHROEDER, KENOSHA COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT: Sustained.
BINGER: Since august 25, 2020, you've had the benefit of watching countless videos of your actions that night, correct?
RITTENHOUSE: I've seen assorted video, not all of them. I've seen a majority of them actually here during the trial. BINGER: You've also had an opportunity to read articles. People have written interviews, things like that about what happened that night, correct?
RITTENHOUSE: I do my best to avoid what people write on the internet. A majority of it is not true.
BINGER: You have also sat here.