While many are holding their breath waiting for the jury to decide Kyle Rittenhouse’s fate, the girlfriend of one of the men he killed said it doesn’t change what happened.
Hannah Gittings only dated Anthony Huber for about six months before he died, but she said their connection was instant. Gittings had recently stopped using heroin, and Huber was seven years sober.
Gittings is a single mom who was going through a breakup when she met Huber. He was recently released from prison after being convicted in a disorderly conduct case with a domestic abuse, repeater modifier, which added more time to his sentence.
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“The type of aid we provided for each other and emotion, it was like we had a little makeshift family together,” Gittings said Wednesday at the Kenosha County Courthouse.
During the state’s closing argument, lead prosecutor Thomas Binger asked the jury to remember, all lives — even people with criminal records — are worthy.
Huber was a friend of Jacob Blake, the Black man who was shot by Kenosha police on Aug. 23, 2020, two days before Rittenhouse came to Kenosha. Rittenhouse and others said they were in town to protect businesses from the protests and looting that broke out in the day after the police shooting.
Rittenhouse is accused of fatally shooting Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Huber, 26, and wounding Gaige Grosskreutz, now 27.
Throughout the last two weeks, prosecutors have portrayed Rittenhouse as a reckless “chaos tourist” looking for trouble. The defense has painted him as a responsible young man who was viciously attacked by lawless rioters.
After Rittenhouse shot and killed Rosenbaum, he ran about two blocks and was chased by a crowd. In that crowd was Gittings and Huber. Huber pushed Gittings back to protect her. She thought about going after Huber, who continued to follow Rittenhouse, but thought of her 4-year-old daughter and stayed back.
“I don’t think he had a second thought about it,” Gittings said.
“When I heard the next shots, I just knew,” Gittings said. “I knew he would have caught up to him.”
Gittings said Huber didn’t want to go back to prison. Like Rittenhouse, he wanted to protect Kenosha. But from people like Rittenhouse, Gittings said.
Videos shown during the trial showed a man, referred to as “jump kick man,” kicking Rittenhouse in the face, and then Huber hitting Rittenhouse in the face with a skateboard. Rittenhouse fired his gun at both men, hitting Huber in the chest, killing him.
“If he would have gotten that gun away from him, he wouldn’t have shot that kid. Are you kidding me? He’s trying to stop the threat of him hurting anyone else or getting away with it,” Gittings said.
But the defense is arguing Rittenhouse’s actions were in self-defense.
Gittings said she’s prepared for any possible outcome because it doesn’t change what happened.
“What’s most important is the type of precedent it sets for this type of behavior,” Gittings said.
It has been 14 months since Huber was killed. Gittings said she has empathy, to some extent, for Rittenhouse.
“I would love to just sit face-to-face with him and his mama, I wish they could just show some remorse,” she said. “Had he not been instantly used as this figurehead for this right propaganda, and told he was a hero, no one will miss these criminals, I would like to think maybe he would feel bad about it.”
Jury considering multiple charges
The jury in Rittenhouse’s trial started its third day of deliberations Thursday morning. Shortly after 4 p.m. the jury suspended deliberations, pushing the trial into Friday.
Wednesday’s deliberations included the jury asking to see several videos again, including Rittenhouse being chased after shooting Rosenbaum and his encounters with Grosskreutz, the man Rittenhouse shot and wounded. The jurors spent about an hour reviewing the footage.
The jury’s request to re-watch the video in the case sparked another bid from Rittenhouse’s attorneys seeking a mistrial. Rittenhouse’s attorneys say the defense received an inferior copy of a key video from prosecutors. Defense attorney Corey Chirafisi told Judge Bruce Schroeder the defense didn’t receive the same quality drone footage shown to the jury during the two-week trial. The video depicted the encounter between Rittenhouse and the first man he shot and killed, Rosenbaum.
Prosecutors countered that the jury saw the highest-quality version of the video during the trial. Schroeder didn’t immediately rule.
If the jury finds Rittenhouse not guilty of all the charges he is facing, the mistrial filing will have little relevance. But if there is a conviction, the defense will have grounds for an appeal.
Rittenhouse faces the following charges:
- Count 1: First-degree reckless homicide, use of a dangerous weapon. This felony charge is connected to the death of Rosenbaum, the first man Rittenhouse shot.
- Count 2: First-degree recklessly endangering safety, use of a dangerous weapon. This charge is connected to reporter Richie McGinnis, who was in the line of fire when Rosenbaum was shot.
- Count 3: First-degree recklessly endangering safety, use of a dangerous weapon. Videos show Rittenhouse being kicked by an unknown man and then shooting at him. That is what this charge is related to.
- Count 4: First-degree intentional homicide, use of a dangerous weapon. This felony charge is connected to the death of Huber, the second man Rittenhouse shot. The judge ruled the lesser included are: second-degree intentional homicide; first-degree reckless homicide.
- Count 5: Attempted first-degree intentional homicide, use of a dangerous weapon. This charge is connected to the shooting of Grosskreutz. Grosskreutz is the third man Rittenhouse shot. The judge ruled the lesser included are: attempted second-degree intentional homicide; first-degree recklessly endangering safety.
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