Kyle Rittenhouse told jurors Wednesday that one of two men he gunned down during a protest in Wisconsin last year had threatened to kill him earlier in the evening.
Testifying in his own defense, Rittenhouse said he was protecting private property in Kenosha and providing first aid on Aug. 25, 2020, when his fatal confrontations with Anthony Huber, 26, and Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, unfolded.
Rittenhouse, facing two counts of homicide, described Rosenbaum as “the person who attacked me first and threatened to kill me twice.”
He added that Rosenbaum used the f-word multiple times in verbally confronting him.
“He screamed, ‘If I catch any of you f—ers alone, I’m going to f—— kill you,” Rittenhouse quoted the victim as saying. “He said, ‘I’m going to cut your f—— hearts out.’ ”
As defense lawyer Mark Richards was directing him to describe the moments immediately before he opened fire on Rosenbaum, Rittenhouse began sobbing uncontrollably, prompting the judge to call for a recess.
Before he began testifying, Kenosha County Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder asked the 18-year-old defendant a series of questions and reminded him of his constitutional right not to testify.
Rittenhouse answered in the affirmative, saying he understood the risks of taking the stand in his own defense.
The defendant said he is currently studying nursing at Arizona State University.
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