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Prosecutors want to show Rittenhouse video at trial

August 19, 2021 GMT

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Prosecutors want a video of Kyle Rittenhouse accepted into evidence that they say shows him talking about wanting to shoot people, footage taken about two weeks before Rittenhouse fatally shot two protesters in Wisconsin and wounded a third.

Rittenhouse, who was 17 at the time of the shootings in Kenosha last year, is scheduled to stand trial on Nov. 1 on a host of charges A hearing on motions is set for Sept. 17.

Rittenhouse maintains he fired in self-defense, but prosecutors have charged him with reckless homicide, recklessly endangering safety, attempted first-degree intentional homicide and being a minor in possession of a dangerous weapon.

Prosecutors filed a motion asking that the 29-second video be admitted as evidence, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Thursday.

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Prosecutors say that the video shows Rittenhouse watching some men exiting a CVS store and then commenting that he wishes he had his rifle so he could shoot them. It was filmed 15 days before the Kenosha shootings.

A voice that sounds like Rittenhouse says one of the men coming out of the store appears to be armed, the Journal Sentinel reported. Then, he says, “Bro I wish I had my (expletive) AR. l’d start shooting rounds at them.”

In an affidavit accompanying the motion, Kenosha County Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger said his office obtained the video last week. It does not say how or from whom.

“Quite simply, the defendant saw something, jumped to a conclusion based on exactly zero facts, and then threatened to kill someone based on his baseless assumption and wrongful interpretation,” the motion said.

Binger says the video is relevant to show Rittenshouse’s state of mind when he fired the shots on Aug. 25, a crucial element to his self-defense claim.

In a second motion, Binger asked Kenosha County Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder to compel Rittenhouse to turn over the names of anyone who has donated to his legal defense, $2 million bail or purchased “Free Kyle” merchandise through his family’s website. Those people, he argued, should not be allowed to serve on the jury for Rittenhouse’s trial.

Almost immediately after Rittenhouse was charged in the Kenosha shootings, he became a celebrity among some conservatives and gun rights advocates, and money flowed in from around the country.