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Kyle Rittenhouse has emotional breakdown on stand, judge forced to intervene and call for break

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(Video: PBS News)

Kyle Rittenhouse broke down crying on the stand Wednesday during testimony as he described coming under assault by rioters in August 2020 before shooting three people and killing two of them.

“Rittenhouse, who is on trial on homicide charges, is testifying in his own defense. His defense team has argued he acted in self-defense when he opened fire,” CNN reported.

Several video clips of the emotional teen were posted to social media following his breakdown.

“Take a deep breath, Kyle,” his attorney, Mark Richards, can be heard saying in one clip as Rittenhouse became overwrought.

Unable to continue, Judge Bruce Schroeder finally intervened, saying it was “time for a break.”

“You can just relax for a minute, sir,” Schoeder said. “We’re gonna take a break — about ten minutes.”

Additional video showed Rittenhouse’s mother also sobbing from the gallery as her son began crying uncontrollably.

“His mother, Wendy Rittenhouse, was heard sobbing loudly within earshot of jurors, as she watched her son break down crying while testifying on Wednesday, according to the pool reporter,” CNN added. “Someone sitting next to her, put an arm around her trying to console her, according to the pool reporter.”

Rittenhouse stands accused of reckless and intentional homicides in the killing of Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, on Aug. 25, 2020, amid rioting in Kenosha, Wis., following a police shooting of a black suspect. He is also charged with attempted homicide for wounding Gaige Grosskreutz, now 27, with a bullet to the arm.

On Monday, Grosskreutz testified that Rittenhouse did not fire at him while he had his hands raised, but only fired one round when Grosskreutz lifted his handgun and made a move towards the teen. He also noted that his concealed carry license for his handgun had expired at the time.

“I believe in the Second Amendment,” Grosskreutz said. “I’m for people’s right to carry and bear arms. That night was no different than any other day. It’s keys, phone, wallet, gun.”

Earlier, Rittenhouse testified that he spoke to a friend on the phone the night of the shooting and afterward began running towards an automobile sales lot called Car Source to put out fires that were being set there.

While he was running, he said Rosenbaum “came out from behind the car and ambushed me.” Video posted shortly after Rosenbaum was killed showed him taunting several armed persons earlier in the evening.

He went on to note that he continued trying to make his way to the Car Source and answered “friendly!” at one point when some rioters hollered at him.

It was then he began to break down.

“I look over my shoulder, and Mr. Rosenbaum was now running from my right side, and I was cornered from…in front of me…There were people right there,” Rittenhouse testified as he struggled to get his words out.

Mark Richards then told him to “take a deep breath” before Judge Schroeder called for the break.

Jon Dougherty

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