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Prosecutors try to bar defense from calling men Kyle Rittenhouse shot ‘rioters’ and ‘looters’

KENOSHA, Wis. — Prosecutors are asking a judge to prohibit the defense from calling the men Kyle Rittenhouse shot “rioters” and “looters.”

In a motion filed Monday in Kenosha County Circuit Curt, prosecutors asked Judge Bruce Schroeder to bar Rittenhouse’s lawyers from using “pejorative” term to describe Joseph Rosenbaum, Anthony Huber or Gaige Grosskreutz, the men Rittenhouse shot Aug. 25, 2020. Rosenbaum and Huber were killed. Grosskreutz was wounded.

Prosecutors also want the word “arsonists” barred from the proceedings.

“There has never been a judicial determination that any of these individuals rioted, looted or committed arson on the night of Aug. 25, 2020,” the new motion says. “Further, the defendant deprived Mr. Rosenbaum and Mr. Huber of their ability to defend their reputations against these sorts of attacks when he killed them both.”

If Schroeder grants the motion, the defense would be prohibited from mentioning the criminal histories of Rosenbaum, Huber or Grosskreutz.

Rosenbaum, 36, was a registered sex offender who was wanted on a bail-jumping warrant.

Huber, 27, was convicted in 2018 of disorderly conduct as a domestic abuse repeater and had been previously arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia. He pleaded guilty to strangulation and false imprisonment in a 2012 domestic violence case.

Twenty-eight-year-old Grosskreutz, who displayed a handgun before Rittenhouse shot him in the arm, was convicted of a misdemeanor in 2016 for possessing a firearm while intoxicated.

Rittenhouse, of Antioch, Illinois, is charged with homicide and attempted homicide. His trial is scheduled to begin Nov. 1.

The state is also asking the judge to suppress a well-circulated video of a police officer telling a group of armed men, including then-17-year-old Rittenhouse, saying, “We appreciate you guys. We really do,” before the shootings took place.

“The state anticipates that the defense will seek to introduce evidence that an anonymous law enforcement officer made a statement somehow approving the defendant’s actions that night. Any such statement is irrelevant hearsay,” the motion states. “The state also anticipates that the defense will seek to introduce evidence that an anonymous law enforcement officer told the defendant or his associates that police were going to let them handle the crowd. Again, any such statement is irrelevant hearsay.”

Rittenhouse is due back in court Oct. 25. He claims the shootings were in self defense.