Kyle Rittenhouse broke down into tears while testifying at his own trial on Wednesday as he recalled the first of two deadly encounters with alleged rioters that left two men dead and another wounded last August.
Rittenhouse waived his Fifth Amendment right and took the stand, telling Judge Bruce Schroeder that he did so under his own will and under the advice of his counsel.
— ABC News (@ABC) November 10, 2021
During the first few moments of testimony, the now-18-year-old told the court that he spent the early hours of the night of Aug. 25, 2020 assisting people with injuries as he and others also protected property from fires and other damage.
He was asked about his encounter with Joseph Rosenbaum, the first man killed during the unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, following the police shooting of Jacob Blake.
After telling his attorney that Rosenbaum and another man had him “cornered,” Rittenhouse attempted to describe the events that led to him firing on the man, but he broke down.
— Cathy Russon (@cathyrusson) November 10, 2021
The trial was briefly paused by Schroeder while the teen collected himself.
Rittenhouse’s mother was also pictured crying as the brief intermission began following the emotional testimony.
We are in a 10 min break.
Kyle Rittenhouse broke down in tears, shaking, unable to speak as he tried to recount the moments he encounter Joseph Rosenbaum. His mom is also crying in the gallery. #KyleRittenhouse #RittenhouseTrial pic.twitter.com/fsSeicPnqH
— Kristen Barbaresi (@KristenBarbar) November 10, 2021
The trial continued following a short intermission and the teen continued testimony.
Prior to breaking down on the stand, Rittenhouse said that Rosenbaum had twice threatened him before the deadly encounter.
“He screamed if I catch any of you alone, I’m going to f***ing kill you,” he said Rosenbaum told him. The teen said Rosenbaum had also used the N-word, but he refused to repeat the word in court.
Warning: the following video contains language that might offend some viewers.
GRAPHIC LANGUAGE: Kyle Rittenhouse describes multiple threats against his life by Joseph Rosenbaum. pic.twitter.com/2jGuwMd7Tu
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) November 10, 2021
He told his attorney, Mark Richards, that at one point Rosenbaum was carrying a chain.
The testimony from the teen came a day after prosecutors rested their case.
Rittenhouse faces a total of six charges, including intentional homicide for the deaths of Rosenbaum and a man named Anthony Huber. He also wounded another man named Gaige Grosskreutz, who admitted on the stand earlier this week that he was pointing a pistol at Rittenhouse when he was shot.