Judge Bruce Schroeder did not immediately rule on the request, which stemmed from the defense team's assertion that it received an inferior copy of a potentially critical video from prosecutors. It was the second mistrial motion from the defense in a week.
At issue Wednesday was a piece of drone video that prosecutors showed the jury during closing arguments in an attempt to undermine Rittenhouse's self-defense claim and portray him as the instigator of the bloodshed in Kenosha in the summer of 2020. Prosecutors said the footage showed him pointing his rifle at protesters before the shooting erupted.
Rittenhouse attorney Corey Chirafisi said the defense initially received a smaller compressed version of the video and didn't get the higher-quality larger one used by the prosecution until the evidence portion of the case was over.
He said that the defense would have approached things differently if it had received the better footage earlier and that it is now asking for “a level, fair playing field.”
Chirafisi said the mistrial request would be made “without prejudice,” meaning prosecutors could still retry Rittenhouse.
Last week, the defense asked for a mistrial with prejudice, meaning Rittenhouse could not be put on trial again. That request was prompted by what the defense said were improper questions asked by prosecutor Thomas Binger during his cross-examination of Rittenhouse.
Rittenhouse, 18, is on trial on homicide and attempted homicide charges for killing two men and wounding a third with an AR-style semi-automatic rifle during a night of anti-police rioting.