The prosecution's case relied heavily on the testimony of Gaige Grosskreutz, one of three men shot by Rittenhouse last August. However, the jury did not learn of Grosskreutz's extensive criminal history because six days before the trial began, a judge dismissed one of his pending criminal charges on a technicality.
The rules of evidence typically bar lawyers from bringing up the past convictions of a witness except in limited circumstances.
Grosskreutz's second DUI conviction was thrown out just before the start of the Rittenhouse trial because Grosskreutz's attorney successfully filed a Motion to Suppress Evidence citing an unlawful traffic stop.
Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger knew of Grosskreutz's criminal record when he called Grosskreutz to the witness stand.
Grosskreutz was arrested just ten days before being shot by Rittenhouse on prowling charges after authorities caught him recording personal police officer vehicles in a parking lot past midnight.
Grosskreutz's first DUI charge came in 2015 where he was also charged with carrying a loaded firearm while intoxicated.
In addition, Grosskreutz was charged with smashing his ex-girlfriend's bedroom window at 4:00 a.m. in 2013. According to the police report obtained by the Daily Mail, Grosskreutz texted his ex-girlfriend, “I'm about to come back and it's not going to be pretty so you better answer.”
The year before his domestic violence charges, Grosskreutz received a felony burglary charge and was later caught trying to steal three stolen PlayStations.
Grosskreutz's lengthy penal record stretches back to 2010, when he reportedly hit his grandmother in the face and smashed a lamp against a wall. Furthermore, Grosskreutz has a sealed juvenile record.
If Grosskreutz's most recent DUI charge had not been dismissed, Rittenhouse's defense attorney would have been allowed to question him under oath about the offense.