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US teen charged with homicide takes stand


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US teen charged with homicide takes stand
Kyle Rittenhouse broke down in tears, forcing a brief recess. (Reuters)

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Washington – A United States teenager charged with shooting three people during civil unrest on the streets of Wisconsin last year has taken the stand in his own defence.

Kyle Rittenhouse broke down in tears, forcing a brief recess, as he described how he was “cornered” by several men and acted in self-defence.

Prosecutors have alleged Rittenhouse, 18, was looking for trouble that night.

The teen has pleaded not guilty to all charges against him.

Rittenhouse is facing counts of reckless, intentional and attempted homicide after he shot two men dead and wounded another.

Riots erupted in Kenosha in August 2020 after police shot a black man, Jacob Blake.

Rittenhouse had travelled to the city from his home in Illinois the day before and, with a semi-automatic rifle in tow, he claimed he sought to help protect property from unrest on the streets.

Testifying in court on Wednesday, he said: “I didn’t intend to kill. I intended to stop the person who was trying to kill me and trying to steal my gun.”

Gaige Grosskreutz, the third person to be shot by Rittenhouse the night of August 25, 2020, testified this week he thought Rittenhouse was an “active shooter” when he drew his own gun and advanced on him.

Rittenhouse said on the stand he was in town because he had seen the destruction caused by the unrest. In particular, he mentioned seeing on social media that a police officer had a brick thrown at his head.

He detailed how he had joined up with other armed civilians to protect a series of local car dealerships.

(Reuters)

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