| 3.8°C Dublin

Kyle Rittenhouse protest killings trial: Judge’s ringtone revealed to be Trump’s rally theme tune

Close

Kyle Rittenhouse breaks down on the stand as he testifies about his encounter with the late Joseph Rosenbaum during his trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Wisconsin. Picture: Reuters

Kyle Rittenhouse breaks down on the stand as he testifies about his encounter with the late Joseph Rosenbaum during his trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Wisconsin. Picture: Reuters

Kyle Rittenhouse breaks down on the stand as he testifies about his encounter with the late Joseph Rosenbaum during his trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Wisconsin. Picture: Reuters

The ringtone of the presiding judge in the trial of a young man for a 2020 mass killing was revealed to be a song used heavily at pro-Donald Trump rallies, as the defence moved for a mistrial.

The ringtone of Judge Bruce Schroeder was revealed to be God Bless The USA by Lee Greenwood when it rang as the judge was presiding over the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

The song has been heavily used at rallies headlined by former President Donald Trump.

As the trial was returning from lunch, the Rittenhouse defence team was speaking as the judge’s phone rang to the tune of the patriotic anthem.

“Judge Schroeder’s phone rings in the middle of the Rittenhouse trial, and it just happens to be the theme song from the Trump rallies when he walks on stage. Go figure,” attorney Ron Filipkowski tweeted.

The judge said that he will consider a defence motion for a mistrial after the defendant took the stand on Wednesday.

Mr Rittenhouse’s attorneys are seeking a mistrial with prejudice due to what they called “prosecutorial misconduct”. The defence accused prosecutors of violating Mr Rittenhouse’s rights by mentioning his silence in the wake of the 25 August 2020 shootings and by referencing a video that was previously deemed inadmissible.

If the motion is granted, Mr Rittenhouse cannot be tried again for the same crimes.

Daily Digest Newsletter

Get ahead of the day with the morning headlines at 7.30am and Fionnán Sheahan's exclusive take on the day's news every afternoon, with our free daily newsletter.

This field is required

The 18-year-old is facing five charges including homicide and minor in possession of a weapon for shooting dead Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber and injuring Gauge Grosskreutz during protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin. He could be sentenced to a maximum of life in prison if convicted.

“I think the judge’s phone ringing in the middle of the trial especially with a dog-whistle ring tone is grounds for a new judge,” one Twitter user wrote.

Judge Schroeder ruled ahead of the trial that the prosecutors cannot refer to the two people Mr Rittenhouse stands accused of killing as “victims”.

Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder decided last month that the term was too “loaded”, but that Mr Rittenhouse’s legal team can use words such as “rioters” and “looters” to refer to the men who were shot if they could produce evidence to back up the designations.

“If more than one of these people were engaged in arson, rioting or looting, then I’m not going to tell the defence they can’t call them that,” the judge said during a pre-trial hearing.

“The word ‘victim’ is a loaded, loaded word. And I think ‘alleged victim’ is a cousin to it,” he added. Rulings like this aren’t uncommon in trials deciding cases of self-defence, The Chicago Tribune reported.

Earlier during Wednesday’s trial, Mr Rittenhouse walked through the night of the shootings and broke down in tears as he described fearing for his life when confronted by protesters.

“I didn’t do anything wrong. I defended myself,” he said.

Under cross-examination, Mr Rittenhouse acknowledged that it was illegal for him to carry AR-15 rifle he used in the shootings and said he had a friend purchase it for him because: “I thought it looked cool.”

Prosecutor Thomas Binger sought to highlight Mr Rittenhouse’s lack of experience with AR-15s but questioned what he knows about the “full metal jacket” rounds used in the shooting.

Tensions boiled over just before lunch when Judge Schroeder admonished the prosecution for referencing a video that had been excluded from evidence at a pretrial hearing.

The Independent


Most Watched





Privacy