Mark Richards, the lead defense attorney for Kyle Rittenhouse in his murder trial in Kenosha, Wisconsin, informed the court on Friday that his client suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and had been seeing a therapist for treatment.
The revelation came as the judge questioned Rittenhouse about waiving his right to overrule his attorneys during a discussion over what instructions would be provided to the jury. The prosecution and defense attorneys also discussed whether the jury would be instructed to consider “lesser included offenses,” such as the possibility of a conviction for second-degree rather than first-degree murder. The defense agreed to allow those, apparently opting for a strategy of pursuing full acquittal.
Judge Bruce Schroeder then asked whether Rittenhouse had agreed to waive his rights, and asked whether he had acted under duress. He added: “Have you ever been treated for a mental and emotional disorder?” Rittenhouse, who had answered the previous questions rapidly, paused and whispered to his attorneys. Later, Richards clarified: “His pause is — was, I believe, because he’s in therapy. I don’t think he has a mental illness or anything. As a result of this incident, he has PTSD.”
The judge replied: “Okay. But that doesn’t affect his judgement or reasoning power?”
“I don’t believe so,” Richards replied. Rittenhouse added: “No.”
Rittenhouse was mocked on the left earlier this week for breaking down on the witness stand when asked to describe the encounter on Aug. 25, 2020, when he shot several Black Lives Matter rioters who were pursuing him.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.