December 6, 2021

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Kyle Rittenhouse trial: Who is lead prosecutor Thomas Binger? – Fox News

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The lead prosecutor in the murder case against 18-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse is assistant district attorney in the Kenosha County District Attorney’s Office Thomas Binger.

Binger has worked for the Kenosha County District Attorney’s Office for six years and ran unsuccessfully for the position of district attorney in Racine County, to the north of Kenosha, in 2016.

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KENOSHA, WISCONSIN - NOVEMBER 11: Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger walks into the courtroom for the start of the day during Kyle Rittenhouse's trail at the Kenosha County Courthouse  on November 11, 2021 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Rittenhouse is accused of shooting three demonstrators, killing two of them, during a night of unrest that erupted in Kenosha after a police officer shot Jacob Blake seven times in the back while being arrested in August 2020. Rittenhouse, from Antioch, Illinois, was 17 at the time of the shooting and armed with an assault rifle. He faces counts of felony homicide and felony attempted homicide. (Photo by Sean Krajacic-Pool/Getty Images)
KENOSHA, WISCONSIN – NOVEMBER 11: Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger walks into the courtroom for the start of the day during Kyle Rittenhouse’s trail at the Kenosha County Courthouse  on November 11, 2021 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Rittenhouse is accused of shooting three demonstrators, killing two of them, during a night of unrest that erupted in Kenosha after a police officer shot Jacob Blake seven times in the back while being arrested in August 2020. Rittenhouse, from Antioch, Illinois, was 17 at the time of the shooting and armed with an assault rifle. He faces counts of felony homicide and felony attempted homicide. (Photo by Sean Krajacic-Pool/Getty Images) (Sean Krajacic-Pool/Getty Images)

“In the last two years as a prosecutor, I have won 13 jury trials. I have convicted murderers, rapists, child molesters, drug dealers, drunk drivers, home-invading burglars and men who abuse women,” Binger said during the failed campaign.

Binger graduated from the University of Michigan Law School in 1996 and joined the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office in 1999.

After rising to the rank of assistant district attorney, Binger moved on to serve as the director of litigation at the DeMark, Kolbe, and Brodek law firm in 2005 until he joined the Kenosha County District Attorney’s Office in 2014.

Wendy Rittenhouse, left, talks to her son Kyle Rittenhouse, before the start of his trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wis., on Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021.  (Mark Hertzberg/Pool Photo via AP)
Wendy Rittenhouse, left, talks to her son Kyle Rittenhouse, before the start of his trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wis., on Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021.  (Mark Hertzberg/Pool Photo via AP) (Mark Hertzberg/Pool Photo via AP)

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Binger is married to mental health counselor Nicole Gustafson-Binger and the couple has three children.

Binger and Judge Bruce Schroeder have clashed multiple times during the Rittenhouse case including when the judge scolded Binger after he asked Rittenhouse whether he knew the use of deadly force can not be used to protect property. Schroeder accused Binger of trying to improperly introduce testimony that he said earlier he wasn’t inclined to include. 

“I was astonished when you began your examination by commenting on the defendant’s post-arrest silence. That’s basic law. It’s been basic law in this country for 40 years, 50 years. I have no idea why you would do something like that,” Schroeder told Binger with the jury out of the courtroom. “You know very well that an attorney can’t go into these types of areas when the judge has already ruled without asking outside the presence of the jury to do so. So don’t give me that. That’s number one.”

Kyle Rittenhouse talks about how Gaige Grosskreutz was holding his gun when Rittenhouse shot him on Aug. 25, 2020, while testifying during his trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wisconsin, November 10, 2021. 
Kyle Rittenhouse talks about how Gaige Grosskreutz was holding his gun when Rittenhouse shot him on Aug. 25, 2020, while testifying during his trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wisconsin, November 10, 2021.  (Sean Krajacic/Pool via REUTERS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

“Number two. This is propensity evidence. I said at the time that I made my ruling and I’ll repeat again now for you,” the judge added. “I see no similarity between talking about wishing you had your AR gun, which you don’t have, so that you can take … fire fire rounds with these thought-to-be shoplifters and the incidence in these cases.”

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Defense attorneys representing Rittenhouse, who is accused of fatally shooting two men and wounding a third in Kenosha, Wisconsin, rested its case on Thursday in the divisive murder trial, setting the stage for closing arguments early next week.

Fox News’ Louis Casiano contributed to this report

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