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Tipsheet

Kenosha Judge Tears Into Lead Prosecutor for Asking a Question He Couldn't Ask

Mark Hertzberg/Pool Photo via AP

KENOSHA, Wisc. — Kenosha County Circuit Court Judge Bruce Schroeder ripped into Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger for attempting to admit evidence, through a line of questioning with Kyle Rittenhouse, that Schroeder had previously ruled Binger could not ask about in the trial.

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In pretrial hearings, Binger said he wanted to ask Rittenhouse if he was going to testify about an incident where he was watching a store being looted and commented he wished he had the AR-15 with him so he could shoot the looters. Instead, Rittenhouse called 9-1-1. Schroeder ruled Binger could not ask Rittenhouse about that incident. 

Despite the ruling, Binger started to ask about the incident which prompted an objection from Rittenhouse's defense team. Binger also started to ask a line of questions to probe Rittenhouse's right to remain silent after the August 25 shooting.

The jury was quickly escorted out of the room and Schroeder erupted.

"I was astonished when you began your examination by commenting on the defendant's post-arrest silence," Schroeder shouted. "That's basic law. It's been basic law in this country for 40 or 50 years … I don't know what you're up to."

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Mark Richards, the lead defense attorney, said Binger knew better than to ask those questions and said if he does something like that again, they will file for a mistrial with prejudice. After the lunch break, the defense team officially filed for a mistrial with prejudice. 

Schroeder said he did not believe Binger was acting in good faith, adding another infraction better not occur. Schroeder said he would take the defense's motion under advisement and continued with Rittenhouse's testimony.

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