ADA Binger, ADA Kraus, Anthony Huber, Brandon Cramin, Castlerock v. Gonzales, Dr. Doug Kelly, Gaige Grosskreutz, Jacob Marshall, James Armstrong, Joann Fiedler, Joseph Rosenbaum, Kyle Rittenhouse, Lucas Zanin, Nathan DeBruin, Nicholas Smith
Today, Tuesday, 11-09-21, the Prosecution rested, Judge Schroeder denied a Defense motion to drop the unlawful possession of a firearm by a minor charge, and noting the Prosecution never produced evidence a curfew was in effect, dropped the curfew charge. Ooops. In Update 4, we learned Gaige Grosskreutz, the black earringed, star/desperation witness crucial to the Prosecution self-detonated up on the stand in spectacular fashion. Before we get into the events of the 6th day of testimony, we need to cover three issues I didn’t have time to deal with in that update. Grosskreutz’s statements to a friend, one Jacob Marshall, his civil suit against Kenosha, and the realities of bargaining with criminals.
Damning Admission: RT.com reports Jacob Marshall, a friend of Grosskreutz depicted with him not long after surgery, wrote in a Facebook post:
‘I just talked to Gaige Grosskreutz too,’ Marshall wrote. ‘His only regret was not killing the kid and hesitating to pull the gun before emptying the entire mag into him.’
‘Should’ve killed him right there and then,’ Marshall added.
It was Grosskreutz’s testimony that he would never, ever think of killing another human being, which was apparently why he was rushing at Kyle with a Glock in hand. That Facebook page has been made private—surprise! After the debacle on the stand on Monday, 11-08-21 it would be tempting to think it couldn’t get worse for Grosskreutz. It’s worse.
Civil Suit and Bargaining: Grosskreutz’s $10 million dollar civil suit against Kenosha and the KPD was an issue on Monday as well, with the Defense pointing out it would be to his advantage if Kyle were convicted. This is an interesting issue for several reasons. First, in Castlerock v. Gonzales (2005) the Supreme Court ruled the police cannot be sued for failing to protect any individual. Their obligations are limited to deterring crime, generally, by their presence and providing general police services. It’s an issue I first wrote about for PJ Media back in 2011.
Considering that, it would normally be hard to imagine why the suit was filed, but these days, in D/S/C run cities and states, such suits are routinely filed and more than willingly settled for millions by cities, not because they might lose at trial, but because they practice social justice, not the real thing.
But this brings up the other issue of police/prosecutor bargaining with criminals. Grosskreutz admitted on Monday that he not only lied to the police about major issues, such as pointing his Glock at Kyle’s head before Kyle shot him, which would normally be an aggravated assault if not attempted murder chargeable again Grosskreutz, but when they wanted a second interview with him, his civil attorney was present and told him not to answer any questions!
If this does not sound like the actions of an innocent victim of attempted murder to you, gentle readers, congratulations! You’re reasonable and sane.
It’s common for prosecutors to bargain with criminals in order to get convictions, and also to implicate other criminals. Very few nuns and saints are involved in criminal conspiracies, so the police have to work with people whose general level of honesty and credibility is measured in negative numbers. In this case, they had to make a decision about how to treat Grosskreutz. Innocent victim or complicit felon?
Obviously, when the Prosecution decided to go after Kyle, they had to make a choice, and since Grosskreutz was their only real up close witness, they had to choose to make him an innocent victim, which means they had to question him very carefully, and not ask the kinds of questions they’d ask any liar when they caught him in lies. Of course, with apparently nothing but rookie detectives involved, they may not have realized Grosskreutz was lying, or the Prosecution may have convinced them to document only what might be helpful to the Prosecution. But when Grosskreutz refused to cooperate at the second interview any remotely competent cop or prosecutor would have known they were dealing with a hostile, duplicitous witness who was going to blow up under cross-examination. Viewing the available video, they absolutely had to know Grosskreutz was lying to them, but they apparently wanted Rittenhouse more, even though they had no case.
So here we have someone who was a criminal before August 25th, a participant in violent riots, and a blatant perjurer–he lied, many times, under oath–all of which the police and prosecutors must have known. If they prosecuted him for attempted murder, they couldn’t prosecute Kyle. But he was such a lying, flakey crook, they couldn’t trust him to tell the truth on the stand. Why did they go ahead knowing this? The Defense was surely going to call him, so they might as well have at least a chance he might not be a horrible witness who scuttled their case. They rolled the dice and lost—spectacularly—and the Defense is surely not done with Grosskreutz.
So, are the prosecutors total incompetents, or are they relying on the social justice tendencies of their community, and perhaps, stealth jurors? In a sane world operating under the rule of law, this prosecution would never have occurred.
As with every day of the trial thus far, day six of the State’s case, it’s final gasp, was a disaster—for the Prosecution. FBI Agent Brandon Cramin, whose testimony was not broadcast, was outcast. Calling his testimony “incomplete,” Judge Schroeder directed the jury to disregard it. Since no one outside the courtroom got to see his testimony, it’s hard to know what effect, if any, it had on the jury, but testimony seen and heard is hard to forget, unless, of course, it really had no bearing on the case.
I’m not sure what happened regarding a Defense motion for a directed verdict, but the Defense began presenting its case, so apparently, either the Defense didn’t make the motion, or they did, and it was denied as such motions usually are. While I’ve seldom seen a case more deserving of a directed verdict, keep in mind the Prosecution has done its worst, and it was it’s worst. Their case will not get better, while the Defense has only just begun to fight on its terms and on its ground.
Witness James Armstrong: Armstrong is the state’s expert imaging witness, who didn’t seem very expert. He testified the state crime lab, where he works, didn’t receive the magically obtained drone footage until Sunday, 11-07-21, which was when he began to work with it. His testimony was low key, and consisted mostly of explaining he slowed down and enlarged the drone video, and he watched and occasionally commented on what he had done as the Prosecution played clips like this one from which I took a screenshot as Kyle shoots Rosenbaum:
The smoke you see between the cars is caused by the four shots fired by Kyle as Rosenbaum, in slow motion, charges him. I saw nothing in these clips, or in Armstrong’s testimony, that in any way helps the Prosecution. Slowing down the action—about half-speed–only makes the attacks more obvious, so it’s hard to imagine what the Prosecution imagined it was accomplishing. Were I the defense, I’d run the slow motion clips, and then immediately play them in real time to let the jury see how little time Kyle had to respond, and how very well he did. Cross-examination lasted only a few minutes, and only slightly clarified a few technical details. The Prosecution didn’t have any more questions. As always, gentle readers, take the link and see for yourself, if you wish, but I suspect you’ll also see nothing that in any way lessened the strong self-defense case the Prosecution has made(?!).
Witness Dr. Doug Kelly: Kelly is the forensic pathologist who autopsied Anthony Huber and Joseph Rosenbaum. He did a professional job, but spent much of his time looking uncomfortable as ADA Kraus tried to put words into his mouth and make him draw conclusions he would not draw. Kelly, over and over, would pause, obviously thinking carefully, before disagreeing with Kraus, who played the roll of the unscrupulous defense attorney badgering an honest prosecution witness, except Kraus is the Prosecution!
Kraus kept harrying Kelly, trying to get him to say the stippling on Huber and Rosenbaum suggested they were much farther away from Kyle than the video evidence suggested. Again, who you gonna believe, us or your own lyin’ eyes. Kelly wouldn’t go for it, and said the only way to deal with what Kraus was suggesting would be to test-fire the rifle, just as I suggested in Update 4. The SMM Rittenhouse archive is here. His honest, scientifically accurate comment brought up the fact that kind of testing—normal, even essential in such cases–had not been done. Why not? The Prosecution knew what the results would be, and they’d do even more damage to their non-existent case.
I’ll not go much more deeply into Kelly’s testimony. It was lengthy, and the Prosecution, after seeing everything they did get slaughtered every time the Defense cross-examined Kelly, blundered on to re-direct and re-re-direct, each time accomplishing nothing but looking frustrated and desperate.
As always, on cross, Kelly revealed what the Prosecution tried to keep hidden, in this case, that the injuries and gunshot wounds to Rosenbaum and Huber were consistent with both of them attacking Kyle, as shown by the videos and photos. Remember the Prosecution has tried to claim Kyle somehow callously and wrongfully shot Rosenbaum in the back, but Kelly testified that shot was inflicted when he made a diving lunge at Kyle’s rifle. Remember too the testimony of Richard McGinnis that Rosenbaum nearly grabbed the barrel of Kyle’s rifle, but Kyle managed to evade him. Kelly testified the stippling on Rosenbaum’s hand suggested it was on the muzzle of the rifle when it fired. Kraus had the position of Rosenbaum’s hand wrong, and Kelly had to correct him, which made him look even worse.
Kelly was a no good, horrible, very bad witness for the Prosecution, and on that note, after brutally beating themselves with their own fists, the State rested its case.
The Defense Case Begins:
Witness Nicholas Smith: Unlike the confused and stoned Sal and Sam Khindri, Smith was one of the people who actually spoke with the owners of the Car Source properties. Remember, the Kindris, the sons of the owners, dopily testified they didn’t give anyone permission to protect the car lots. Smith, however, did get that permission. The owners were more than glad to accept the offer of Kyle and the others to protect their lots, and gave them keys and other help, and Smith was there that night, working with Kyle, Jason Lackowski, Ryan Balch and others. When Binger crossed him, he was reduced to behaving like a stereotypical nasty, corrupt defense lawyer. He looked like a fool, accomplishing absolutely nothing for the Prosecution.
Witness JoAnn Fiedler: Fiedler was also an adult protector of Car Source, a mature and impressive woman, who smiled easily and warmly, and who provided a great deal of depth about the behavior of the rioters that night, and particularly of Rosenbaum. She was there with the others protecting the lots, armed with a .380 handgun.
She testified that she met with the owners of Car Source, who were very glad to have her and the rest protect their property. She explained some rioters were trying to provoke a fight with her and others, and Rosenbaum was doing much the same, throwing things and setting fires.
ADA Binger kept making flimsy accusations about Fiedler, which she calmly denied, and he sputtered when it was apparent he had no evidence whatever to back them up. He claimed she gave video evidence to the Defense, but not the Prosecution. She denied it, and he had no way to disprove her. At one point, he kept trying to insinuate because she was armed, she was there to kill to protect Car Source property. She calmly explained she was armed only for her own protection and to deter rioters from destroying the property. She and the others were successful in this. Binger was so annoying and persistent, Judge Schroder explained the clear distinction between what Binger was insinuating and what Fiedler was saying to the jury, and shut him down. This isn’t the first time the Defense has refrained from objecting, letting the Judge finally get so fed up he intervenes, which is a very smart tactic the prosecution is seemingly incapable of realizing.
Binger accused her of lying about talking to the owners of Car Source, she denied it, and Binger was, once again, stuck with no rebuttal. Consider this from Andrew Branca. It’s particularly funny and illustrates how desperate the Prosecution was, and how badly they face planted in attacking Fiedler:
At one point Binger decided to revisit his ‘Rosenbaum was only 5’ 3”, he couldn’t be a deadly threat to anybody’ argument—and fell flat on his face. When Rosenbaum’s slight stature was presented to Fiedler for this purpose she responded ‘well, he’s about the same size as me.’ Turns out that Joann Fiedler herself is only 5’ 4” tall.
At times Binger’s cross-examination of Fielder became outright incoherent, with he and Fiedler clearly talking about different locations and times without themselves realizing they were at cross-communications—and of course it’s not the job of the witness being cross-examined to keep the questioning coherent.
Branca is being kind to Binger. His questioning was confusing and unprofessional, his frustration evident. Fiedler was, yet again, a very effective witness for the Defense and humorously deadly to the Prosecution.
Witness Nathan DeBruin: DeBruin is an amateur photographer who took many photos that night, including one that has become somewhat famous of Kyle removing graffiti at a local high school. At the time, he didn’t know Kyle or anyone else involved. He was initially obviously nervous, and has a speech impediment that manifests itself primarily with soft consonants, but it’s obvious he has worked hard to overcome it, and was easily understood. As his testimony wore on, and ADA Kraus kept treating him nastily and unprofessionally, his consonants became clearer as he showed justified contempt for the rotund prosecutor. He was a very effective and sympathetic witness who really helped the Defense, and was a rock upon which the Prosecution stupidly kept smashing itself. Consider this, again, from Branca:
Perhaps nothing was as damaging to the prosecution, and as personally infuriating to ADA Kraus, as DeBruin’s testimony that in a meeting with ADA Binger and ADA Kraus he had the perception that they were asking him to ‘change’ his statement to police about what he had observed the night of the 25th. Here ‘change’ should be read to mean ‘falsify’—in particular, to falsify some conduct or presence of Joshua Ziminskiy.
Indeed, immediately after that meeting with prosecutors, in which DeBruin refused to change a word of his prior statement, he immediately left and retained his own legal counsel—and that counsel was present in the courtroom during DeBruin’s testimony today.
And consider this from the Post Millenial:
But last month when meeting with prosecutors Clair Binger and Jim Kraus, it’s described that Kraus pressured DeBruin to add to his statement. He refused:
DeBruins said Binger’s attitude quickly changed to that of an adversarial role when DeBruin refused to change or add to his statement, that he signed over a year prior. ‘Whose side are you on?’ Binger sternly asked. Binger then asked DeBruin to identify people in the many photos he took. He didn’t know who they were at the time, but now knew some of them. Binger asked him to change and add to his statement the identities of some of the people, but he didn’t know who they were at the time, so he refused. He didn’t want to lie. ‘We have no use for you!’ Binger said. ‘We won’t put you on the stand, so Richards (Kyle’s Lawyer) will be, and he’ll be harder on you than we would!’ With this, the meeting ended.’
If you take the link to view no other video, gentle readers, take the link to the video of Kraus’ cross of DeBruin. It’s a textbook case of how to look like an idiot before a jury. I didn’t feel sorry for Kraus—the man is a boor–but I was absolutely rooting for the calm and effective DeBruin.
Keep in mind prosecutors are charged, above all, with doing justice, not taking sides. I also need to comment on DeBruin’s accusation of undue prosecutorial influence. Professional prosecutors and police officers are very, very careful never to say or do anything that could open them to that kind of accusation. They never put words in people’s mouths, but encourage them to tell their entire story, occasionally asking for clarification, or helping witnesses refresh their memory with evidence, but they never, ever, do what DeBruin is accusing Binger and Kraus of doing. Nothing destroys their credibility faster in general, and particularly before a jury, than that, and having seen Binger and Kraus in action, I have no trouble believing DeBruin. Branca again:
ADA Kraus almost shouted his accusatory questions at the DeBruin on cross-examination. Isn’t it true you have a bias favoring the defense in this case, that you don’t want Rittenhouse convicted? Not true, answered De Bruin.
Then why did you give an interview to a blog that has published many, many articles critical of myself and ADA Binger? (Really, this display of personal affront by ADA Kraus was completely unprofessional.) DeBruin’s answer: Well, they asked me.
Isn’t it true that you knew the blogger you provided an interview to has a bias against this prosecutor’s office, asked Kraus? Tell us what you know about his bias!?!?!?!
At this point even Judge Schroeder had enough, interjecting—you’re asking this witness to testify about the alleged bias of some other person? Yeah, that’s not happening.
DeBruin’s testimony about Rosenbaum, which included photos he took, was devastating. Rosenbaum wielding a chain, threatening, provoking, behaving violently toward others, tipping over porta potties, dragging a trailer into the street—it would shortly be aflame—screaming he just got out of jail and wasn’t afraid to go back, repeatedly screaming “shoot me nigger,” and “fuck the police,” and his anger when Kyle put out the dumpster fire he set.
He even testified he saw Huber repeatedly strike Kyle with the skateboard, and tried to take his rifle, and that Grosskreutz came after a downed Kyle wielding a handgun. This is brutal:
On cross-examination by ADA Kraus, DeBruin had repeatedly characterized the meeting with ADA Binger and Kraus in which he felt they were asking him to falsify his police statement as one that was very tense and uncomfortable.
Now Kraus proposed, isn’t it true that our meeting was congenial and uneventful? DeBruin answered: You mean, aside from all the uncomfortable tension?
When Kraus demanded why DeBruin had forgotten to mention important details in his police statement—such that Grosskreutz had a gun in his hand—that he later remembered when interviewed by the defense, DeBruin looked straight at him and answered, hey, I’m not a police detective or prosecutor, I don’t know what you think is important.
Sometimes when a witness says something like that to an attorney, they come off badly, but not DeBruin. I suspect the jury was thinking: “Yeah! Whack the jerk again!”
Witness Lucas Zanin: Zanin was the last witness of the day. He was nothing more than foundation for the introduction of a cell phone video of the shooting of Rosenbaum, filmed by his step-daughter. Zanin was in the car with her across the street when she shot it. The video was poor quality compared to other video we’ve seen, and really added nothing, except the Defense may have used him to trap the hapless Kraus, who stepped in it. Branca again:
That said, when subject briefly to cross-examination by ADA Kraus, Zanin began to wax poetically about the sorrow he felt at the terrible destruction the ravaging, invading horde had inflicted on the city in which he’d been born-and-raised—and that certainly did nothing to hurt the defense narrative of self-defense.
Zanin added a bit of sympathetic color, but was not nearly as deadly to the prosecution as the other Defense witnesses, who wiped the floor with the Prosecutors. And when things couldn’t get any odder, Victoria Taft at PJ Media adds to the circus:
Police caught an unidentified person taking video of the jury in the Kyle Rittenhouse case just days after a friend of George Floyd threatened to do just that on social media.
Before the trial got underway on the sixth day of testimony, a police lieutenant reported to the judge that someone had been caught recording images of the jury as they arrived at the pick-up point where police transport jurors to the Kenosha County Courthouse.
According to the judge, the police officer made the individual erase the video on their cell phone. It’s not clear if that person was banned from the courthouse according to the judge.
Judge Bruce Schroeder said that if it happened again officers should confiscate the camera equipment.
And apparently, Judge Schroeder did nothing else about this, despite appearing to be very concerned about threats to the jury at the opening of the trial.
Final Thoughts: As I’ve often noted, the woke media simply lies, as this NBC example demonstrates:
The reference is to Dr. Kelly’s testimony, which was indeed precisely the opposite of what NBC told its readers. Disgusting.
Despite my earlier pronouncements on this case, I know enough to reserve judgment until all the evidence has been heard. One never knows what’s going to happen, and a very persuasive and charismatic defense lawyer can sometimes overcome a slam-dunk case and get his client off. Sometimes juries do listen to the shyster and not their own lyin’ eyes. But with the Prosecution case rested, as in a burning hulk in a crater in the ground, and the Defense continuing, through the calm, polite and professional use of the law and evidence, to pour aviation fuel on the flames, if there is any justice in Wisconsin, this case will end in a rapid acquittal.
I worry that the jury will convict Kyle on the gun possession charge, which Judge Schroeder should have dismissed. If even lawyers and the judge himself can’t decipher what the law means, why would the Judge submit it to the jury? It’s not his job, nor that of legal laymen, to try to read the minds of an entire legislature. It’s the job of a legislature to correct vague and confusing statutes.
And about the racial angle, remember President Biden, and many other towering intellects, called Kyle a “white supremacist,” and many of equal intellectual force continue to claim the case is infused with racism. All of the principals involved were white! Neither the desperate and flailing prosecutors, nor any of their witnesses, have accused Kyle of being a white supremacist, nor have they in brought up race. There is no evidence whatever, other than Rosenbaum screaming “nigger” at a BLM riot(?!) of either accusation. Still, that, and other woke narratives are being pushed by a corrupt media, by local and national politicians, and by local “activists,” who want “justice,” which means a life sentence for Kyle Rittenhouse regardless of the evidence. I worry they may get at least a half pound of flesh.