As the jury in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial continued to deliberate Friday morning, new evidence in the case has been coming to light.
Rittenhouse faces five felony counts for shooting three people, two of them fatally, during a riot in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Aug. 25, 2020: one count of first-degree intentional homicide in the death of Anthony Huber, one count of first-degree reckless homicide in the death of Joseph Rosenbaum, two counts of reckless endangerment for firing a gun near others, and one count of first degree attempted intentional homicide in the wounding of Gaige Grosskreutz, NPR reported.
The 18-year-old has said he fired in self-defense as multiple people attacked or threatened him that night — including a man who kicked Rittenhouse in the face after he had been knocked down.
The identity of that person — who has been dubbed “jump kick man” — was reported Tuesday by Wisconsin Right Now. It said Maurice Freeland, “a felon with a long criminal history and an open domestic violence charge,” had come forward to authorities.
— Kristen Barbaresi (@KristenBarbar) November 15, 2021
On Thursday, Fox News reported that Rittenhouse’s attorneys told the outlet the 39-year-old Freeland indeed was the man who ran at Rittenhouse and kicked him just after the teen had shot Rosenbaum.
The reckless endangerment charge Rittenhouse faces is for firing at the man who kicked him. Freeland wasn’t hit by the gunfire.
“I thought if I were to be knocked out, he would have stomped my face in if I didn’t fire,” Rittenhouse told the jury.
The prosecution knew about Freeland for some time but did not call him to testify, Fox News reported.
“Freeland approached the prosecution to testify in exchange for immunity for other charges, including a DUI, but they rejected the offer, according to a source familiar with the discussions,” the report said.
Freeland has a long criminal record that includes possession of marijuana, battery, disorderly conduct, and other offenses this year, according to Fox News.
It was unclear Friday whether the prosecution had kept Freeland’s identity from Rittenhouse’s attorneys.
“There is no confirmation whether this information was withheld from the defense,” legal scholar Jonathan Turley wrote. “That would be a serious violation, if true. It would add to a lengthening list of blunders and alleged violations committed by the prosecution.”
There already have been two filings for a mistrial from the defense.
The first time the Rittenhouse team asked for a mistrial with prejudice, and the second for a mistrial without prejudice, ABC News reported.
A mistrial with prejudice means that if there is a dismissal, the plaintiff cannot refile the same claims again in that court, as the Legal Information Institute explained.
A mistrial without prejudice means the plaintiff is allowed to refile charges, even altering the claim and bringing it to another court.
The filings for a mistrial hinged on three different issues.
First, the prosecution brought up a previous incident during the trial that the judge had already ruled could not be raised at trial.
Second, the prosecution pursued a line of questioning during the cross-examination of Rittenhouse that the judge said was a commentary on Rittenhouse’s rights to invoke silence upon his arrest. The judge told him to stop.
Third, the defense attorneys argued that the video footage evidence that the prosecution provided them was lower quality than what the state had.
Could there be another filing for a mistrial tied to the revelation of Freeland’s identity?
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