The Wisconsin judge presiding over Kyle Rittenhouse’s homicide case laid out his final ground rules on Monday (Oct. 25) ahead of the 18-year-old’s trial. According to ABC 7, some of the rules Judge Bruce Schroeder announced involved the terminology that lawyers can and can’t use while talking about the three men that Rittenhouse shot last year.
“If more than one of them were engaged in arson, rioting, looting, I’m not going to tell the defense you can’t call them that,” the judge said.
Schroeder also said attorneys could not refer to the two men that Rittenhouse killed as “victims.”
“The word ‘victim’ is a loaded, loaded word. ‘Alleged victim’ is a cousin to it,” he said.
Rittenhouse’s trial is expected to last at least two weeks and jury selection is scheduled to begin next Monday (Nov. 1). The Antioch, Illinois native is accused of fatally shooting two men and seriously injuring a third during an anti-police brutality protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin; spurred by the police shooting of Jacob Blake.
On Monday, Judge Schroeder also said he would allow defense’s use-of-force expert John Black to testify, as long as he only speaks about the timeline of events that night. Black will not be allowed to give his opinion on what Rittenhouse might have been thinking during the incident or whether or not he acted in self-defense.
Schroeder also decided to allow footage of Rittenhouse’s interactions with Kenosha police to be used during the trial. As reported by REVOLT, officers were seen telling Rittenhouse and other armed militia members that they appreciated them being there and gave the then-17-year-old a bottle of water.
“If the jury is being told, if the defendant is walking down the sidewalk and doing what he claims he was hired to do and police say good thing you’re here, is that something influencing the defendant and emboldening him in his behavior? That would be an argument for relevance,” the judge argued.
Rittenhouse is charged with homicide, attempted homicide and possessing a firearm as a minor.