KENOSHA, Wis.–Kyle Rittenhouse testified in his own defense during his murder trial Wednesday, admitting that he lied about being an EMT, while in Kenosha, Wisconsin on the night of a riot, Agust 25, 2020. Hoosier gun rights attorney Guy Relford said he was surprised that the defense team put Rittenhouse on the stand.
“It’s often difficult for a defense lawyer to be confident that the jury’s gonna know what was in his client’s head, unless the client tells them,” said Relford, on Tony Katz Today, while testimony continued.
LISTEN: Relford on Rittenhouse testimony
Relford said for the defense to put their client on the stand they must also be confident that the client will not incriminate himself.
“The defense of self defense requires a subjective belief that is what is actually in your head, that force, in this case deadly force, is necessary to prevent bodily injury or death,” said Relford. He added that for the testimony to be effective it requires backup that a reasonable person would also hypothetically see force as necessary.
“The state still has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that a person did not act in self-defense,” he said.
Rittenhouse is accused of murdering Joseph Rosenbaum with his AR-15, which Rittenhouse said was in self-defense, backed by witnesses, including one of the victims, who told the jury Rittenhouse did not begin shooting until he was attacked.
Rittenhouse, who was 17 at the time, came from Illinois, armed, but was not the only only person to show up at the scene with a gun. A witness for the prosecution testified that Rosenbaum was fatally shot in the back. Rittenhouse also killed Anthony Huber, who hit hm in the neck with a skateboard.
Relford said he believes the prosecution, which was several times scolded by the judge Wednesday for rule-bending and breaking, did a poor job.
“Virtually every witness they put on…actually fortified the defense’s position on self defense.”
Rittenhouse admitted on the stand that he lied about being an EMT. He was not old enough, but testified he was a cadet in a training program for the fire academy.
“Anytime on cross examination you can get a witness to admit he or she lied, then that casts doubt on their credibility,” he said.
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