The lead defense attorney presiding over the Kyle Rittenhouse trial said putting the 18-year-old defendant on the witness stand contributed to his acquittal on Friday.
Rittenhouse was acquitted of all charges brought against him Friday after four days of jury deliberation. His attorney, Mark Richards, gave his account of the trial at a Friday press conference outside of the Kenosha County Courthouse.
Richards said that the defense team “had to put” Rittenhouse on the witness stand to testify in his own defense, telling reporters that rehearsals proved that the defendant’s testimony was necessary.
“It wasn’t a close call. At certain points, we wondered whether we’d put him on. We had a mock jury and we did two different juries, one with him testifying and one without him testifying. It was substantially better when he testified,” Richards said.
The defense attorney added that if the client does not testify, they will lose their case. (RELATED: Biden Says He ‘Stands By’ Rittenhouse Jury’s Verdict, Later Adds That He’s ‘Angry And Concerned’)
Richards criticized the prosecution’s decision to place brothers Anmol “Sam” and Sahil Khindri on the witness stand, who he claimed lied about the events that took place. The lead defense attorney said the police reports provided by Detectives Martin Howard and Ben Antaramian claimed that the two witnesses were lying.
“I never went after somebody like they did. And when they put on the Khindri brothers, knowing they were lying, that is a problem…You’re playing with an 18-year-old’s life and they were willing to put those guys on,” Richards said. “They put them on, they knew they were lying, and that’s garbage.”
Rittenhouse took the stand on Nov. 10 to recount the events leading up to the fatal shootings of Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber, and the injury of Gaige Grosskruetz on the night of Aug. 25, 2020. He began to cry uncontrollably in the middle of the defense’s questioning, leading Judge Bruce Schroeder to call for a break.
Dr. Doug Kelley, a forensic pathologist who performed autopsies of the two deceased individuals, testified that Rosenbaum’s hand “was in close proximity” to Rittenhouse and touched the barrel of the AR-15 style rifle at the time of the shooting.
Daily Caller Video Director Richard McGuiness testified that Rosenbaum lunged toward the gun prior to the fatal shooting.