Mark Richards, Kyle Rittenhouse’s main defense attorney, joined “Banfield” after his client was was found not guilty of first-degree intentional homicide and four other charges.
Richards said they weren’t surprised by the verdict but were still scared.
“We were afraid there might be a compromise,” he told NewsNation. “We felt as though we had the facts on our side and the law. And we put forth a good defense, and we were hopeful. But if anybody says we knew what was gonna happen, they’re full of it.”
Richards said his legal team prepared Rittenhouse for two possibilities. He said his client vomited before they walked downstairs to hear the verdict.
“We told them one way or the other. he was going out that door today with a deputy to either come home with us or go to prison for a very long time,” said Richards. “And he hugged his family goodbye. It was very emotional. He threw up before we walked downstairs to get the verdict.”
There has been speculation about whether Rittenhouse was actually crying when he took the witness stand or faking it in an attempt to garner sympathy.
“If you’ve ever seen a panic attack — that was one. I’m sure, though, the same people are going to say that he was faking it when he just about passed out when the first not guilty was read,” said Richards.
Rittenhouse, who was 17 at the time of the shootings, went to Kenosha with an AR-style semi-automatic weapon and a medic bag in what the former police and fire youth cadet said was an effort to protect property.
Just before midnight, Rittenhouse shot and killed Joseph Rosenbaum as Rosenbaum chased him across a parking lot. As Rittenhouse fled the scene, someone in the crowd tried to kick him in the face and Anthony Huber swung his skateboard at him, connecting with Rittenhouse’s head and neck. Rittenhouse fatally shot Huber. A moment later, Gaige Grosskreutz ran up to him holding a pistol. Rittenhouse shot him in the arm; Grosskreutz survived.
Prosecutors portrayed Rittenhouse as the instigator of the three shootings, while Richards and his team said Rittenhouse acted in self-defense. While that is what Richards argued in court, he personally isn’t a fan of the idea of people walking around with high-powered weapons, but maintains Rittenhouse acted in self-defense.
“I personally don’t like people carrying AR-15s around,” Richards said. “There was so much anger and so much fear in Kenosha on Aug. 25 that people did on themselves. We knew from the beginning that if you read the statute correctly, he was legal in having that firearm, and obviously once the evidence came in, the judge threw the charge. They threw the curfew and those were things the state wanted to kinda hang their hat on so they could argue he couldn’t be there, he couldn’t own the gun.”