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During Kyle Rittenhouse trial, key witness describes moments leading to the death of Joseph Rosenbaum

RITTENHOUSE Murder Trial Courtroom
Mark Hertzberg
ZUMA Press Wire via Pool
Richie McGinniss, chief video director for the Daily Caller was the Thursday's second witness during the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Nov. 4, 2021.

The State of Wisconsin’s case against Kyle Rittenhouse continues. During the trial Thursday, Richie McGinniss, chief video director for conservative website The Daily Caller, took the stand. During his testimony, he described what happened in the moments that led to Joseph Rosenbaum's death at the hands of Rittenhouse. McGinniss said Rosenbaum chased Rittenhouse, before Rittenhouse shot him. It’s one of the key moments of the case that was not caught on video.

In the days following the shooting, McGinniss gave a media interview in which he said he saw Rosenbaum falling as he was shot. But in his testimony, McGinnis said Rosenbaum lunged towards Rittenhouse and Rittenhouse tried to dodge Rosenbaum before shooting him.

“I don't see why that's inconsistent with what I'm saying right now,” McGinniss said. “[Rosenbaum] was lunging, falling. I would use those as synonymous terms in this situation because basically he threw his momentum towards the weapon, and when the weapon wasn't there, his momentum was continuing. That's the point at which [Rittenhouse] fired, so if you use the word falling or lunging, it was his momentum going forward, and that's the point at which he fired the shots.”

Prosecutor Thomas Binger repeatedly pressed McGinniss about his statements regarding the night of the shooting. The prosecution is trying to establish that Rosenbaum was unarmed and only holding a plastic bag. Binger questioned McGinniss on whether Rosenbaum tried to grab Rittenhouse's gun and if Rittenhouse initiated the confrontation.

By doing so, Mr. Rittenhouse was finally able to get that gun in a position where there wasn't any more risk of Mr. Rosenbaum grabbing it by doing that little maneuver, correct?” Binger asked.

McGinniss responded that Rittenhouse dodged around with his weapon before firing at Rosenbaum.

“At the point at which [Rittenhouse] dodged around it, it was like they were extremely close. It's not clear to me what would have happened if those shots hadn't been fired,” McGinniss said.

Rittenhouse's attorneys claim he fired his gun in self-defense. They're trying to establish that Rosenbaum was the aggressor. The defense team argued that Rosenbaum ran after Rittenhouse, swore at him and tried to grab his gun. They also say another protester shot a gun into the air, leading Rittenhouse to believe he was under attack.

Rittenhouse faces six criminal charges and one ordinance violation. He's charged with first-degree reckless homicide in Rosenbaum's death. Rittenhouse also is charged with first-degree intentional homicide in the death of Anthony Huber. That charge would result in life in prison if Rittenhouse is convicted.

In 2021, Simone Cazares was WUWM's Eric Von Broadcast Fellow. She later became a WUWM reporter.
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