Closing arguments: Self-defense or reckless vigilantism? Rittenhouse jury must decide

Closing arguments: Self-defense or reckless vigilantism? Rittenhouse jury must decide

KENOSHA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- A vigilante who provoked the entire incident and killed unarmed men, or a 17-year-old who wanted to protect property and provide medical care but was attacked and acted in self-defense. Those are the two cases laid out in closing arguments in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse Monday, Nov. 15. That's what the jury has to decide.

"When he testified he broke down crying about himself not about anyone else," said Thomas Binger, prosecutor.

During more than two hours of closing arguments, prosecutor Thomas Binger painted Kyle Rittenhouse as an instigator. He told jurors, Rittenhouse pointed a gun at someone, provoking Rosenbaum.

"Under Wisconsin law, you're not allowed to run around and point your gun at people. That's the provocation. This is what starts this incident.," said Binger.

The defense blasted Binger's argument, calling it a last ditch effort by the state.

"Did you hear one word out of Mr. Binger's mouth about provocation? You didn't. But when his case explodes in his face, he goes to provocation," said defense attorney Mark Richards. 

The two sides also sparred about the idea that Rittenhouse acted in self-defense.

"Mr. Rosenbaum was shot because he was chasing my client because he was going to kill him. Take his gun and carry out the threats he made," said Richards. 

The defense told jurors the other two men shot -- Anthony Huber and Gaige Grosskreutz, who was armed -- were trying to hurt or even kill Rittenhouse.

The state argues Huber and Grosskreutz are heroes who tried to stop an active shooter

"The hypocrisy of the defense, anyone with a gun is a threat, unless you’re the defendant," Binger said. 

But Richards fired back, pointing out Rittenhouse ran two blocks after the first shooting and didn't fire a shot.

"This isn't a game, it's my client's life," said Richards.

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