KENOSHA, WI – The plot thickens regarding the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, with reports noting that the infamous “jump kick man” captured on video attacking Rittenhouse during the August 2020 incident has been identified.
Furthermore, the prosecution allegedly knew the man’s identity the entire time – and seemingly failed to inform Rittenhouse’s attorneys about this rather critical witness, who the defendant is also facing charges for shooting at.
Having been referred to during the entire trial as “jump kick man” by both the prosecution and the defense, the once-unknown attacker of Rittenhouse was identified as 39-year-old Maurice Freeland. It’s important to know that Rittenhouse is charged with one count of reckless endangerment for firing at Freeland after the individual attacked him during the August 2020 riot.
Said offense on its own carries a maximum sentence of 12 1/2 years in prison, plus up to an additional five years with the weapons modifier – yet the defense never had an opportunity to call Freeland to the stand, namely because they didn’t know who he was.
However, Freeland reportedly approached the prosecution – identifying himself as the man seen in the video kicking Rittenhouse – and asked if he could exchange his testimony for immunity for other charges, including a DUI.
But the prosecution allegedly rejected that offer and acted as though they didn’t know who Freeland was. Perhaps that may have to do with Freeland’s rather extensive criminal history, which just this year had charges that included battery, disorderly conduct, possession of marijuana, and others.
Then again, if the prosecution did willingly withhold Freeland’s identity from Rittenhouse’s defense team, it could also be due to them not wanting the man caught on video attacking Rittenhouse to fall victim to cross-examination.
Whatever the case may be, if the prosecution knew who Freeland was the entire time and Rittenhouse is charged with an offense labeling Freeland as the purported victim – this presents serious conflicts with the Sixth Amendment, which allows a person accused of a crime the right to confront their accusers.
The prosecution, in this case, has already come under heavy criticism that has led to motions for mistrial having been presented. If the prosecution did know who Freeland was, this could very well lead to another motion for such (and possibly with enough fodder to reasonably seek with prejudice).