Previously, the defense team had motioned for a mistrial with prejudice due to the prosecution’s alleged withholding of drone video from the night Rittenhouse killed two men and injured one in what he said was self-defense.
According to The New York Times, defense lawyer Corey Chirafisi made a separate request Wednesday for a mistrial due along the same line of reasoning.
“We didn’t have the quality of evidence that the state had until the case had been closed,” he told Judge Bruce Schroeder.
The Times reported the defense is now “asking for a mistrial ‘without prejudice’ — meaning that prosecutors could refile charges — arguing that they did not have access to a high-quality video that most fully captures the first of the three shootings.”
According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the defense originally received a lower quality version of the drone footage. They were not given the high-definition version until Saturday.
“On Friday, the parties had rested, and we were going to open our closings on Monday,” Chirafisi said. “We’ve talked to Mr. Rittenhouse, and I’m going to be asking the court for a mistrial…”
Rittenhouse defense requests a mistrial pic.twitter.com/LuomZgldN1
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“We watched the video. I can tell you what we think, but it doesn’t matter what we think, because we don’t get to present that to the jury anymore,” he said. “And I think if we’re going to try to do this in a way that is free from anybody hiding anything, anybody not having the same evidence as everybody else has … we have to ask for this, and I’m asking for it.”
Schroeder has not yet ruled on the motion for a mistrial with prejudice, which would prevent a retrial for current charges against Rittenhouse.
If the judge granted the motion for a mistrial without prejudice, a retrial would be possible. Given Chirafisi’s pleas for a fair trial with all relevant evidence presented, it would appear the defense team is ready for that possibility.