Leo Terrell, a Fox News contributor and civil rights attorney, weighed in moments after Kyle Rittenhouse’s emotional testimony during his trial for killing two individuals and injuring a third during protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in August 2020.
Rittenhouse, who faces up to life in prison if convicted of the highest charge, broke down in tears on the witness stand while describing the moments before he encountered Joseph Rosenbaum and, ultimately, killed him.
Terrell said Rittenhouse “did an outstanding job” of explaining to the jury what his intentions were in attending the protest.
Rittenhouse maintains that he was there to help, and Terrell pointed to the medic kit he brought with him as supporting evidence.
“His testimony has been riveting, looked very credible,” Terrell said on “The Faulkner Focus.”
“Kyle Rittenhouse’s state of mind has been clearly demonstrated that he was there to help people.”
The state of Wisconsin allows for the use of deadly force in self-defense, which is what Rittenhouse’s defense is trying to prove regarding his encounter with Rosenbaum.
“Kyle Rittenhouse was facing imminent bodily threat. He was facing the possibility of losing his life,” Terrell said. “He has a legal right to defend himself, to protect himself. The key here is who initiated the threat? And was his response reasonable?”
Based on Rittenhouse’s testimony, Terrell believes he did not attend the protest with the intent of causing harm.
“This kid, to me, is a credible kid who got caught up in a situation in which he tried to defend himself, not attack anyone. There’s nothing I’ve heard where this man had a motivation to attack anyone.”
Terrell reiterated that he believes Rittenhouse was in Kenosha to help people, saying his emotional breakdown on the stand looked real. He also noted that when the judge called for a break and handed Rittenhouse a bottle of water, it sent a “powerful message” to the jury.
When asked if he would have put Rittenhouse on the stand, Terrell said “yes.”
“This young man, based on what he did up to the time the shooting had the motivation to help. He did not have what you call the ‘evil intent’ to shoot someone.”