Nov 19, 2021

Kyle Rittenhouse Found Not Guilty: Defense Attorney Press Conference Transcript

Kyle Rittenhouse Found Not Guilty: Defense Attorney Press Conference Transcript
RevBlogTranscriptsKyle Rittenhouse Found Not Guilty: Defense Attorney Press Conference Transcript

Kyle Rittenhouse’s lawyer Mark Richards held a press conference after the jury found Rittenhouse not guilty on all counts. Read the transcript of his briefing after the verdict here.

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Mark Richards: (00:02)
When I took this case, I was hired by the two first lawyers. I’m not going to use their names. They wanted to use Kyle for a cause, and something that I think was inappropriate. And I don’t represent causes, I represent clients. And the only thing that ended up mattering to me was whether he was found not guilty or not.

Speaker 2: (00:27)
[crosstalk 00:00:27] As well? Is That what Kyle wants or does he…?

Mark Richards: (00:30)
I believe that’s what he wanted. I told him when I first met him, when he was in custody, that if he was looking for somebody to go off on a crusade, I wasn’t his lawyer.

Speaker 3: (00:43)
Mark, throughout the week you said… I caught you in between court and you said…

Mark Richards: (00:46)
I never talked to you.

Speaker 3: (00:49)
That you were nervous. That you didn’t know what the heck was going on in that jury room. Looking back on all that time waiting nearly 27 hours to this afternoon. Can you walk me through your range of emotions?

Mark Richards: (01:04)
I expected… We kind of picked amongst ourselves, our wives, our friends, my associates in the building. And I had Tuesday at 4:30, so I was way wrong. Nobody had it going past Thursday. And there was talk today about whether they were going to deliberate on Saturday. I’ve never seen a jury… And I don’t mean this as a slight to them. But they didn’t have a lot of questions. We had no information that they ever fought. They were just working through the issues. It was the time that made me nervous. There wasn’t any information coming out.

Speaker 3: (01:45)
They submitted five questions over that whole time. They never asked to rewatch the videos beyond those five questions. Was that concerning or puzzling for you?

Mark Richards: (01:56)
I was afraid of a compromise. I know it’s been reported that we asked for lesser includeds, we objected to all lesser includeds. Kyle was questioned on lesser includeds because he has to be, but that wasn’t our wish. That wasn’t Kyle’s wish. And we, as time went on, were afraid that there would be some horse trading in the jury room. And that’s what really concerned us.

Speaker 2: (02:22)
Mark, you looked visibly frustrated with the prosecution multiple times.

Mark Richards: (02:29)

Speaker 2: (02:31)
You characterize their [inaudible 00:02:31]?

Mark Richards: (02:32)
I was a prosecutor. Corey was a prosecutor and I never went after somebody like they did. And when they put on the Khindri brothers knowing that they were lying, that is a problem. As I said in my closing argument, I’m not going to… It’s not a game. And you’re playing with an 18 year old kid’s life. And they were willing to put those guys on detective Howard and detective Antaramian had both interviewed him. And in their police reports said, “We know you’re lying.” I can’t ask that question when they’re on the witness stand of the detective, because one witness can’t comment on another. So they put them on. They knew they were lying and that’s garbage.

Mark Richards: (03:28)
I’m thankful we’re never going to have to litigate the issue regarding the drone video. But they kept saying, “We stipulated to it. We let it in.” We agreed to let it in because we saw the quality we were given and the jury couldn’t see anything. And then they’re saying, “Well, his first lawyer had it because it was on Tucker Carlson.” John Pierce never had that video. We’ve talked to Fox News, we’ve talked to Tucker Carlson’s show. The video that was on Tucker Carlson’s show started right when Rosenbaum threw the bag. It did not start with the part that they showed at the beginning. It’s a huge difference. That’s what they built their whole case on with that garbage photo. You don’t expect everything in a trial, ever. And that program that they used and the expert from the crime lab specifically says on the company’s blog, “Artificial intelligent enhancements are not to be used for forensic evidence,” and they did it. And our research after it, it would’ve been the subject of a huge motion. We don’t have to do it.

Speaker 4: (04:40)
And you said going into this trial you didn’t want this to be about cause. But in your opinion, what do you think this verdict says about the second murder?

Mark Richards: (04:58)
I personally don’t like people carrying AR-15s around. There was so much anger and so much fear in Kenosha on August 25th that people did arm themselves. And we knew from the beginning that if you read that statute correctly… I know everybody thought I was crazy. If you read the statue 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 that the state wanted to kind of hang their hat on so they could argue he couldn’t be there, he couldn’t own the gun.

Speaker 4: (05:39)
What was the first thing that Kyle Rittenhouse told you after the verdict?

Mark Richards: (05:44)
Thank you.

Speaker 5: (05:45)
Mark, what did the surviving victim [inaudible 00:05:47] recent days that watching Kyle testify basically looked like a kid who caught doing something wrong. Paraphrasing. What does Kyle want the families of the men he killed to know about how this all played out? Because he repeatedly talked about he had no choice, but clearly there’s just-

Mark Richards: (06:08)
If Mr. Grosskreutz and some of the other people had let Kyle go to the police, there would only be one one individual dead. They referred to him, and I talked about it as an active shooter. Anybody can look up the definition of an active shooter from the FBI, law enforcement. He didn’t meet it, but the way that those words are so charged, that’s what they used. They wanted to paint him as that. I wish nobody died. I wish I never met Kyle Rittenhouse. And I don’t mean that because he was a bad client. I just mean because then this wouldn’t have happened.

Speaker 5: (06:45)
Whether or not he feels he had to do it, is he remorseful? Does he feel bad about… For those families?

Mark Richards: (06:51)
I think he does. We’ve talked about it. There’s been so much talk about out whether the tears were genuine. All I can say is when we prepared Kyle and we worked on his testimony, there were things we couldn’t talk about in my office because it got too emotional and he couldn’t handle it. He’s in counseling for PTSD. He doesn’t sleep at night. Remorse, I think manifests itself some other ways. I don’t think he can ever walk out here and say that because of the situation. But I know Kyle Rittenhouse and I know what he feels.

Speaker 4: (07:36)
Mark, along those lines, where does he go from here?

Mark Richards: (07:44)
He has to get on with his life the best he can. I think eventually some anonymity will come back to it. I don’t think he’ll continue to live in this area. I think it’s too dangerous. He’s had 24-hour security since this happened. We’re thankful that the judge protected his address. Everybody in this case, and when I say that, I mean prosecution, defense. To me, it’s scary how many death threats we’ve had. I was answering my phone on the way back from court in Kenosha. My office isn’t that far. After the third death threat, I quit answering the phone.

Speaker 3: (08:26)
Mark, what do you say to people who may look at the charge and still think that he had no business being in Kenosha that night [inaudible 00:08:37].

Mark Richards: (08:37)
He had as much business being there as any of the demonstrators or the rioters. That’s all I could say. There’s going to be people who will never agree with that statement, but if we all would just mind our own business a little bit, I think we’d all be better off. And it’s a hard lesson to learn.

Speaker 3: (08:59)
Couldn’t it have been said about Kyle?

Mark Richards: (09:02)
It could be. He was asked to be there. He wanted to help the community. And if that’s the narrative that the state went with, he shouldn’t have been there. He was asked to be there by Nick and Dominick, and the Khindri brothers wanted security. I’m not trying to blame anyone. I wish he had never been separated from Ryan Bulch, and we wouldn’t be here.

Speaker 6: (09:27)
Has he ever expressed-?

Speaker 3: (09:29)
Here to Kenosha?

Mark Richards: (09:31)
I don’t believe he does. If he had to do it all again and you said same thing is going to happen and your life is going to be put in a living hell for a year and you’re going to not know if you’re going to be a free man, he would say, “I wouldn’t go.” But we can’t undo time.

Speaker 2: (09:51)
The president was just asked about the verdicts. He says, “I stand by what the jury has to say. The jury system works.” Any comment?

Mark Richards: (10:01)
And I’m not laughing at President Biden. What I’m laughing at is a friend of mine who’s a lawyer said… And him and I had done a big case together seven, eight years ago. And he said, “Do you think this Rittenhouse is going to be bigger than that case?” And I said, “I do.” And he said, “Why do you say that?” And I said, “I’ve never had a case, and I don’t think I ever will, where within two days or three days of one another, the president and the presidential candidate comment on it.” And both of them had such different beliefs. President Biden said some things that I think are so incorrect and untrue. He’s not a white supremacist. I’m glad that he at least respects the jury verdict. And if the government had any information regarding his cell phone or anything that he’d been to any of those websites or been online doing that kind of stuff, it would’ve been introduced in evidence. It wasn’t. We were the individuals who released his cell phone, which couldn’t be cracked by the FBI because we had nothing to hide.

Speaker 6: (11:07)
Are you aware of any-

Speaker 7: (11:09)
Got here a little bit late. Can you just kind of reiterate or go over his reaction immediately after?

Mark Richards: (11:17)
No. I’m not doing reruns.

Speaker 2: (11:17)
Into any civil actions?

Mark Richards: (11:17)
What’s that?

Speaker 2: (11:17)
Do you plan to represent him in civil actions?

Mark Richards: (11:19)
I’m a criminal defense attorney. I don’t do civil stuff.

Speaker 8: (11:22)
You’re a veteran criminal defense attorney. Talk about what’s the one thing you learned, if you had to say the biggest takeaway from this case, what you’ve learned?

Mark Richards: (11:32)
Every case is different and every case has surprises. I learned I could wait 24 hours for a verdict.

Speaker 8: (11:44)
What about what happens to the 2 million bond?

Mark Richards: (11:47)
I suspect there will be a fight over that. John Pierce is the person who posted the bond. All of that money was raised on behalf of Kyle. Lin Wood and FightBack say that they’re entitled to it. I’m using round numbers, but there was half a million dollars, I think, that came directly from Wendy Rittenhouse from money she had raised. So there’s going to be a fight over that. And I’m just thankful that there will be a fight over that, because if he had lost, wouldn’t have mattered.

Speaker 4: (12:24)
Kyle had aspirations to be a first responder. Is that still-

Mark Richards: (12:26)
He wants to be a nurse.

Speaker 8: (12:28)
What would you say your biggest takeaway is from this 25 plus hour jury deliberation? What do you think that that says?

Mark Richards: (12:34)
I need to be more patient.

Speaker 6: (12:36)
Now that he has been acquitted, can you look back and point to a pivotal moment that was successful for you, that you think created this outcome?

Mark Richards: (12:46)
Getting rid of the first two lawyers. And that might be a smart-alecy comment, but I mean that. And I got my best friend Corey to join, who I trust. And to be able to work with somebody who you don’t have to check their work, you don’t worry about what they’re going to be doing. You give them a project and it’s done as good or better as you’d do yourself, it’s priceless.

Speaker 8: (13:14)
There’s been a lot of commentary on the prosecutor’s performance in this case. What would you say being up there with him every day?

Mark Richards: (13:22)
You must have got here a little bit late. I’ve known Tom Binger for a long time. I knew him when he was a civil lawyer. I’m disappointed with some of the things he did. And I’ve said why.

Speaker 8: (13:35)
Such as what?

Mark Richards: (13:36)
Putting on the Khindri brothers when you know they’re lying, changing your prosecution, going with provocation after you say that my client chased him down and shot him in the back, calling him an active shooter when he’s not. Justice is done when the truth is reached. And I don’t know that it’s set up to do that, but a prosecutor is supposed to seek the truth. It’s not about winning. And this case became about winning. And that’s probably why it got so personal.

Speaker 9: (14:09)
How about the judge? What do you say about how the judge handled the case?

Mark Richards: (14:13)
I’ve never seen so much made of so little. And that’s not to pick on you guys or anything like that, but I’ve tried cases as a prosecutor 100 years ago in front of Judge Schroeder. I’ve tried cases as a defense lawyer, and him and I butted heads as a defense lawyer. Judge Schroeder gives you a fair trial as a defendant, you don’t want him to sentence your client. Okay? But in this case, we were looking for a fair trial. And if we lost, we knew what was going to happen. So it wouldn’t have mattered whether it was that judge or some other judge. He’s getting life in prison. So I’d rather have a fair trial. I thought he gave us a fair trial.

Mark Richards: (15:03)
Everybody got all crazy about the tumbler. Who cares? That has nothing to do with this. I mean, I’ve seen the tumbler used before. I’ve seen clerks pull things out and suspicious things happen. Kyle pulled it out, and I’ll be real honest. We had every juror scored on a sheet. And we were devastated when those three of the six jurors were separated from the panel, because we thought they were three of our strongest jurors. And Kyle pulled their names. So I think it’s a good system. I’ve got a trial in front of them, a big case. And maybe in that one, I’ll think he’s unfair, but he’s a fair judge.

Speaker 8: (15:53)
But he also said something about in the future, he plans on rethinking the possibility of live coverage to this extent. Given what you guys have gone through, he mentioned that you guys went through a lot. There were threats made to you. What do you think that that should be going forward, setting a precedent about?

Mark Richards: (16:11)
I don’t know about that. I’ve never done a case that was televised gavel to gavel. I’ve had cases that have gotten media coverage. I knew this case was big. I had no idea it was going to be this big. I mean, I’ve gotten calls from people I haven’t seen in 25 years. It’s just bizarre. And I’ll never be able to figure out exactly what it is that caused the interest that it did. I don’t think it made the attorneys act different. I don’t think it made the judge act different. And I suspect when everything cools down, if there was another big case in front of Judge Schroeder, he’d let the cameras in.

Speaker 5: (16:57)
Mark, will Kyle say anything to the crowd? Just having [inaudible 00:17:01] on his behalf? We don’t know that there’ll be trouble, but there’s people gathering by the time we left. There were more and more people showing up. Do you think anything he might say could make things go better than they would?

Mark Richards: (17:14)
I don’t. The people who are going to end up causing trouble, they don’t want to hear from Kyle Rittenhouse. What? “Remain calm?”

Speaker 8: (17:31)
What do you think the wider implications of this verdict are with anyone?

Mark Richards: (17:34)
I don’t think it’s that kind of case. When you want to talk about implications and precedent and things like that, is it ever going to happen again? Is there ever going to be just a total unrest in Kenosha or some other city and that’s going to happen? I just don’t see that. It was a case about self defense, the right to protect oneself from Mr. Rosenbaum. Don’t want to speak ill of the dead, but he wasn’t a nice person and everybody knows why. And a lot of that didn’t come in in for front of the jury. So I don’t know that there’s any broader implications. I don’t want to make it bigger than it is.

Speaker 7: (18:16)
A couple politicians in Wisconsin have used the word vigilante to refer to your client since the verdict came down. How do you react to that?

Mark Richards: (18:23)
Maybe they should have watched the trial.

Speaker 6: (18:27)
I know Kyle Rittenhouse said thank you to you. You said that after the verdict was read. Can you share any more about general reaction from him or his family in that moment?

Mark Richards: (18:35)
It’s one of those things that anything that’s said at this time is kind of meaningless. We have to take it in, reflect on it. And what’s he thanking me for? And I don’t mean that it’s insincere, but it takes a while to process what happened today. I haven’t processed it.

Speaker 2: (19:00)
[crosstalk 00:19:00] Wisconsin?

Mark Richards: (19:05)
I can’t answer that question. If I had to guess, and it would be a guess, I don’t think they’ll stay in Wisconsin.

Speaker 8: (19:10)
What’s next for you?

Mark Richards: (19:12)
I got a trial in a week. I’m going to take a couple of days off and go to the Badger game tomorrow, which I’ve missed-

Speaker 8: (19:20)

Mark Richards: (19:21)
Hopefully. I’ve missed a couple of Badger games because of this trial. We were afraid we weren’t going to get to go because they were going to have them deliberate on Saturday. And I want to see them beat Nebraska.

Speaker 2: (19:34)
Do you have any sense that they agreed to those verdicts much earlier, but maybe just took some extra time to at least leave the impression they really fought through it. It wasn’t a quick, sudden decision.

Mark Richards: (19:44)
I don’t believe that. I don’t believe that. I mean, there was the questions and I think I said this to some people yesterday, when they asked to call off at 4:00. You could see the tenseness in those people, the jurors, at least I could, or I sensed it who were entering that room. And if they wanted to quit early, because I think they were tense. And if there was some early verdict and they were playing all of us for fools, they’re great actors and actresses. I don’t think that was the case.

Speaker 5: (20:22)
What do you think about [inaudible 00:20:23]?

Mark Richards: (20:24)
I believe so. I have clients from 30 years ago I still talk to. One of my oldest favorite clients, he moved auto racing, moved to Minneapolis. He texted me, “Congratulations.” I talk to him once a month. I try to stay in touch with clients who want to stay in touch with me. I like to see them do well, and I hope that Kyle does.

Speaker 8: (20:47)
Do you think that they’ll keep a low profile?

Mark Richards: (20:49)
I hope so.

Speaker 4: (20:53)
What do you think the amount of time that the jury took to do this says about how they handled it?

Mark Richards: (20:57)
They took it very seriously. As I said, it’s the longest jury I’ve ever had out. Wow. Can I go home?

Speaker 8: (21:06)
Go home.

Speaker 6: (21:07)
Anything else we haven’t asked you?

Speaker 9: (21:11)
Mark, do you think [inaudible 00:21:13]?

Mark Richards: (21:17)
Probably. I’m not in charge of his media. I don’t have anything to do with that. Yep.

Speaker 3: (21:25)
Thanks, Mark.

Mark Richards: (21:25)

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