Jurors are set to deliberate in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial, possibly marking the end of a high-profile case that, at times, has been overshadowed by the makeup of his three victims.
Rittenhouse was 17 when he fatally shot Joesph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, and wounded Gaige Grosskreutz, 26, at a protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, following the officer-involved shooting of Jacob Blake. In light of last year’s deadly shooting, misinformation inundated the internet regarding the three victims’ criminal histories.
Rittenhouse is facing various charges in the August 2020 shooting, including first-degree reckless homicide, first-degree intentional homicide, and attempted first-degree intentional homicide. He claimed while at the protest, he was hit in the head and neck with a baseball bat and skateboard. While medics reportedly observed superficial scratches on his arm, they did not see any bruising or cuts.
Kenosha County Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder barred prosecutors from referring to Rosenbaum, Huber, and Grosskreutz as “victims.” However, defense attorneys were allowed to refer to them as “looters, rioters, arsonists or any other pejorative term.”
As Snopes noted, there is no evidence that Rosenbaum, Huber, and Grosskreutz’s criminal histories played a role in the protest which turned deadly. Further, no proof has surfaced showing that Rittenhouse knew their backgrounds when he opened fire.
Here is what is known about the three victims’ criminal histories:
- Joesph Rosenbaum: On the day of the shooting, Rosenbaum was reportedly discharged from the hospital following a suicide attempt. Rosenbaum was a convicted sex offender, and Snopes reported that the then-19-year-old was sentenced in Arizona in 2002 for sexually abusing five boys — between the ages of 9 and 11 — while he lived with the boys’ parents. Judge Shroeder denied the defense’s bid to have his felony conviction presented at trial, as they believed it supported their argument that he would be more inclined to take Rittenhouse’s AR-15, Kenosha News reported.
- Anthony Huber: Kenosha News reported that Huber has two domestic violence convictions for incidents involving his siblings. In the 2012 case, Huber was originally charged with strangulation and suffocation and false imprisonment — which are felonies — but he took a plea deal. According to The Washington Post, Huber was imprisoned in 2017 for violating the terms of his probation. He went back to prison in 2018 after kicking his sister and being charged with disorderly conduct.
- Gaige Grosskreutz: The sole surviving victim, who testified that he was armed when he approached Rittenhouse, said he was at the protest to provide medical aid. Unlike Huber and Rosenbaum, there is no evidence that Grosskreutz was a convicted felon, which is supported by the fact that he had a conceal-carry permit, though it was expired at the time of the shooting, according to NPR. Snopes reported that Grozzkreutz had been charged with minor offenses, including noise violations and disobeying police. Public records indicate that he was suspected of committing felony burglary in 2012, but the charges were dropped. Heavy reported that Grosskreutz has an expunged felony conviction, but the nature of that charge was undisclosed.
Monday’s court hearing continued with closing arguments. Jurors are expected to start deliberations this week.
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[Featured image: Joesph Rosenbaum, Gaige Grosskreutz, and Anthony Huber/Facebook]