Kyle Rittenhouse trial replay day six: Defense focuses on Grosskreutz's phone

·10 min read

Here's what happened on day six of the trial for Kyle Rittenhouse, the Illinois teenager charged with killing two people and wounding a third during violent protests in Kenosha last year after the police shooting of Jacob Blake. Follow our live coverage from November 16.

In addition to counts of intentional, reckless and attempted homicide, and reckless endangerment, and curfew violation, Rittenhouse, 18, is charged with possessing a firearm as a minor, a misdemeanor.

More: Jurors are likely to hear from Kyle Rittenhouse in the second week of his homicide trial

More: Kyle Rittenhouse trial live updates: Kenosha religious leaders gather to pray for healing and peace

Check below for updates as Journal Sentinel reporters and photographers cover the trial. You can also read about what happened on day one, day two, three, four and five of the trial. The trial is expected to last at least three weeks.

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Defense focuses on Grosskreutz's phone

During cross-examination Monday afternoon, Kyle Rittenhouse’s defense team again seemed to make an attempt at portraying law enforcement as handling the investigation into the shooting differently.

In response to the questioning, Kenosha Detective Benjamin Antaramian said investigators did not execute a search warrant for the phone of Gaige Grosskreutz, who was shot in the arm and survived.

Pressed by defense attorney Corey Chirafisi, Antaramian said there were concerns that executing the warrant could violate Marsy’s Law, which is designed to protect crime victims. He said he was told not to execute it by prosecutors, including Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger, who is arguing for the prosecution.

Antaramian said Marsy’s Law has been a subject of concern in other criminal investigations he’s been a part of, but he could not recall a prosecutor ever telling him not to execute a search warrant based on those concerns before.

In response to questions from the defense last week, Antaramian’s partner, Martin Howard, testified that they did not record their interview with Grosskreutz, despite recording interviews with other witnesses.

Grosskreutz, who testified Monday morning for several hours, acknowledged he made inaccurate statements during that interview and omitted the fact that he pointed his own gun at Rittenhouse moments before Rittenhouse fired.

Grosskreutz refused to answer questions from Antaramian when police tried to follow up with him weeks later.

At day's end, Judge Bruce Schroeder called a deputy and the clerk of court up to bench for about five minutes of private discussion. Then he called up the lawyers for another five to ten minutes of private discussion, before Rittenhouse, his lawyers, and both prosecutors all joined the judge in his chambers for another ten minutes.

— Elliot Hughes

Defense, prosecution focus on Grosskreutz gun

During continued questioning Monday afternoon, prosecutors tried to argue that Gaige Grosskreutz did not present a threat to Rittenhouse even though he was holding a handgun.

Defense attorneys tried to argue that Rittenhouse had no way of knowing Grosskreutz wouldn’t fire his gun as he approached.

Grosskreutz testified earlier that he put his hands in the air after Rittenhouse shot Anthony Huber. He saw Rittenhouse “re-rack” his rifle, making him believe Rittenhouse wouldn’t “accept (his) surrender.” Then, he said, he moved toward Rittenhouse.

Under questioning, Grosskreutz acknowledged he had his gun in his hand as he approached, but that he wasn’t “intentionally” pointing it at Rittenhouse.

Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger asked: if Grosskreutz’s intention was to shoot Rittenhouse, would he have gotten as close as he did?

Grosskreutz said no.

Defense attorney Corey Chirafisi argued that nonverbal actions Grosskreutz took — such as moving toward Rittenhouse with a gun in his hand — would have made Rittenhouse feel threatened.

The defense also focused on a signed police statement Grosskreutz gave the day after he was shot about his brief conversation with Rittenhouse. The conversation occurred after Rittenhouse had shot Joseph Rosenbaum and before he fired at Huber and Grosskreutz.

In the statement, Grosskreutz reported that Rittenhouse had said something like “he pulled a gun on me” when asked if he shot somebody.

Grosskreutz was livestreaming on Facebook during the interaction. A replay of the video revealed Rittenhouse made no such comment, which Grosskreutz acknowledged Tuesday.

In an attempt to explain the inconsistencies in the statements, Binger asked Grosskreutz if he had watched the livestream again before he gave the statement to police.

Grosskreutz said no; he had woken up from surgery a few hours earlier and didn’t have his phone with him.

Grosskreutz also denied ever uttering a comment his former roommate posted on Facebook. The roommate wrote that Grosskreutz’s “only regret was not killing the kid” and that he had wanted to empty his “entire mag” into Rittenhouse.

— Sophie Carson

Gaige Grosskreutz admits that several details from initial questioning contained errors

In a lengthy cross-examination Monday, defense attorney Corey Chirafisi made a broad attempt at discrediting Gaige Grosskreutz, who was shot in the arm by Kyle Rittenhouse.

Over the course of an hour, Chirafisi got Grosskreutz to admit that several of his statements made to police shortly after the shooting included either incorrect details or omitted others — most notably that Grosskreutz pointed a gun at Rittenhouse before Rittenhouse fired on him.

Grosskreutz initially told police that he dropped his gun at some point during the incident and didn’t mention that he pointed it at Rittenhouse.

He said it was not an intentional omission, noting that his interview with police occurred after surgery, while he was still on pain medication and coming down from the traumatic events of the shooting.

But, after questioning from Chirafisi, Grosskreutz did acknowledge it was the only detail he failed to mention, having been able to even describe the clothing Rittenhouse wore the night of the shooting.

In a follow-up interview with police in September 2020, Grosskreutz told Chirafisi he refused to answer questions about the shooting on the advice of his lawyer, Kimberley Motley.

Grosskreutz was conceal-carrying a Glock the night of the Rittenhouse shootings but said Monday that his concealed carry permit was expired at the time.

After Grosskreutz told prosecutors earlier Monday morning that he attended the protests as a medic and was not trying to be an active participant in the protests, Chirafisi also sought to connect Grosskreutz with protesters.

Under questioning, Grosskreutz acknowledged that he had spoken at a rally hosted by The Peoples Revolution — a Milwaukee-based group that has protested against police violence — and made statements such as, “long live the revolution.” Grosskreutz said he is not a member of the group but has “an affiliation” with them.

Grosskreutz, who has filed suit against Kenosha officials over the shooting, was asked by Chirafisi if he stood better odds of winning a monetary award in that litigation if Rittenhouse is convicted. Grosskreutz said he didn’t know that to be true.

Grosskreutz takes stand, says he believed Rittenhouse was active shooter

Prosecutors on Monday morning sought to contrast the paramedic training of Gaige Grosskreutz from the teenage Rittenhouse, who shot him in the arm.

Grosskreutz also testified that after hearing the initial gunshots, he followed Rittenhouse because he believed he was an active shooter.

Grosskreutz said that while he was armed with a handgun, he did not intend to shoot Rittenhouse.

“That’s not the kind of person I am,” he testified. “That’s not why I was out there, that’s not why I was out there for 75 days prior to that, why I spent — up until that point — spent my time, my money, my education, providing care to people.”

Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger showed graphic videos and photos of the moment Grosskreutz was shot as well as the moments afterward, as bystanders and two armed men tried to apply a tourniquet.

Grosskreutz, a Milwaukee resident, trained to become an EMT and later an EMT paramedic and wilderness first responder. He previously worked for private ambulance companies, he said.

He and a friend, also a trained EMT, spent at least 75 days out with prominent protest organizers earlier in the summer acting as medics, Grosskreutz testified.

Binger said he was trying to show the jurors the difference between Grosskreutz’s training and experience and Rittenhouse’s. At 17, Rittenhouse was a lifeguard and was not certified as an EMT but told people he was acting as a medic.

Grosskreutz testified that he went to Kenosha alone on Aug. 25 with medical supplies and his handgun, for which the concealed carry permit had expired.

He said he had noticed Rittenhouse earlier and took note of his AR-15-style rifle. Asked about whether he would have worn the blue surgical gloves Rittenhouse was wearing throughout the night for the length of time Rittenhouse did, Grosskreutz said, “never.” It would be unhygienic, he said.

Grosskreutz was also livestreaming on Facebook and captured the moment he heard the gunshots that killed Rosenbaum. Grosskreutz ran toward the shots and encountered Rittenhouse, running in the opposite direction.

He believed Rittenhouse was an active shooter, he testified. He took his handgun out and said he only intended to use it “if I had to.”

After Rittenhouse shot Anthony Huber, Grosskreutz, a few feet away, put his hands in the air and testified he saw Rittenhouse “re-rack” his rifle. Grosskreutz said he believed Rittenhouse was not “accepting my surrender” and the only way for him to survive was to close the distance with Rittenhouse.

Then Rittenhouse shot him, according to a bystander video shown during the trial.

“I was never trying to kill the defendant. That was never something that I was trying to do. In that moment, I was trying to preserve my own life,” Grosskreutz testified. “But doing so while also taking the life of another is not something that I’m capable or comfortable of doing. That goes against almost a lifelong ethical code that I’ve lived by in regards to medicine.”

Prosecutors’ questioning of Grosskreutz continued Monday morning.

— Sophie Carson

Car lot owners deny making arrangements for protection with Rittenhouse

On Friday, two members of the family that owns three car lot properties along Sheridan Road in Kenosha denied ever making arrangements for Kyle Rittenhouse or anyone to protect their businesses during the days of unrest after the shooting of Jacob Blake.

Brothers Anmol and Sahil Khindri had both met Rittenhouse and other armed men on Aug. 25, 2020 – the day Rittenhouse shot and killed two people. But both told the jury Friday afternoon they never asked or gave permission for anyone to watch over their properties that night.

Their parents, who are both involved in managing the business, were not yet called to the witness stand.

But their testimony contradicts that of Dominick Black, who accompanied Rittenhouse to Kenosha that night. He testified earlier last week that they made arrangements with the family to protect the business. By that day, one of the family’s three business properties had already been torched by arson during civil unrest.

During questioning, Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger showed a screenshot of a text message sent to Anmol Khindri, who goes by Sam. The message said:

“Hey Sam it’s Kyle do you need anyone to protect your business tonight im more then willing and will be armed i just need address.”

A second message read: “Me and my brother would both be thwre armed.”

The screenshot did not show a reply from Anmol Khindri. He told Binger he didn’t see the message until Aug. 26. He said he gave his number to countless people on Aug. 25 because the business received a flood of attention after one of its properties was destroyed.

Anmol Khindri said he and staff took steps to secure cars and other equipment on their properties Aug. 25 but never arranged for armed men to watch over it.

Sahil Khindri, who said he does not work at either of the three businesses, was photographed posing with Rittenhouse, Black and other armed men on Aug. 25. But Sahil Khindri said he only did so because he was impressed with their military-style equipment.

— Elliot Hughes

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This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Kyle Rittenhouse trial updates: Defense on Grosskreutz's phone