Lawyers for Kyle Rittenhouse accused prosecutors of misconduct on Wednesday afternoon, and asked Judge Bruce Schroeder to declare a mistrial with no possibility of a retrial.
Corey Chirafisi, a defense lawyer, took issue with prosecutors’ references to Mr. Rittenhouse’s silence in the months before the trial, and with an attempt by the prosecution to introduce testimony on a previous episode that the judge had ruled inadmissible. Mr. Chirafisi suggested that prosecutors may have acted in bad faith, making it necessary not only to declare a mistrial but also to do so “with prejudice,” meaning that there could not be another trial with a new jury.
The judge did not immediately rule on the request.
The defense’s request came after a morning of fiery exchanges between Judge Schroeder and Thomas Binger, the lead prosecutor in the case, over what the judge perceived to be violations of his orders. Judge Schroeder scolded Mr. Binger again in the afternoon as the prosecutor argued against the motion for a mistrial.
“You’re an experienced trial attorney, and you’re telling me that when the judge says, ‘I’m excluding this,’ you just take it upon yourself to put it in because you think that you found a way around it? Come on,” Judge Schroeder said.
Mr. Binger denied doing anything wrong.
Judge Schroeder said he would give prosecutors more time to respond to the mistrial motion, and Mr. Binger was allowed to resume cross-examination of Mr. Rittenhouse. But the judge made clear that he believed Mr. Binger had intentionally defied his orders.
“When you say that you were acting in good faith, I don’t believe that, OK?” Judge Schroeder said. He warned that “there better not be another incident.”