Judge refuses to toss weapons charge against Kyle Rittenhouse, doesn’t rule on allowing expert testimony

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KENOSHA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- A judge heard remaining motions from attorneys in the Kenosha protest shooter case on Tuesday, Oct. 5. Kyle Rittenhouse's trial is set to begin on Nov. 1. 

In one of his first decisions, the judge denied the defense's motion asking to throw out a weapon's count against 18-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse.

His lawyers wanted the judge to dismiss the misdemeanor charge that Rittenhouse illegally possessed his weapon because he was a minor at the time of the shooting.

In court Tuesday, Rittenhouse's lawyers presented age loopholes under the state's hunting law to try to get the count dismissed.

The state said Rittenhouse was not engaged in legal hunting last August so the rules do not apply.

Rittenhouse is charged with shooting three men last August during protests following the Jacob Blake police shooting. Two of the men died.

Rittenhouse was 17 at the time.

The big issue left for the judge to rule on is whether or not a use of force expert can testify for the defense.
During Tuesday’s hearing, Dr. John Black, the defense’s use of force expert was sworn in and questioned by both sides.

The Defense wants Dr. Black’s testimony allowed at trial to support their argument that Rittenhouse acted in self defense.

“I believe the actions comport with it and self-defense as described in this matter, not speaking in a legal opinion, I believe they were reasonably necessary,” Dr. Black said in court.

Dr. Black said he believes Rittenhouse could reasonably have though Joseph Rosenbaum, one of the men killed, could have taken Rittenhouse’s gun and used it against him.

During cross examination, the prosecution grilled Dr. Black about his conclusion.

“If everything else in this situation was the same, but Mr. Rittenhouse did not have that gun, is it your opinion Mr. Rittenhouse would have been reasonable and justified to use deadly force?” prosecutor Thomas Binger asked Dr. Black.

“Given all the other facts scene I would argue no, it wouldn’t be a reasonable response,” Dr. Black responded.

If Dr. Black is allowed on the stand, Binger wants his own use of force expert to testify as well. The judge will hear from their expert on Oct. 25, and then rule on who can and cannot testify.

The trial is set to last about two weeks.

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