During the Kyle Rittenhouse murder trial On Monday, prosecutors used an image from the 1989 action thriller “Road House” in their oral arguments.
Kenosha County Deputy District Attorney Thomas Binger accompanied the photo with the caption “Defendant brought gun in fight”.
The photo in question shows Patrick Swayze’s bouncer character Dalton preparing to fight Marshall Teague’s Jimmy. In the scene, a bar fight between Double Deuce bouncers and a group of ex-convicts is interrupted when Brad Wesley (Ben Carrazza) fires a shot.
Binger used the scene in an attempt to illustrate how Rittenhouse engaged in “reckless driving” and acted unreasonably when he shot three people with an AR-15.
“What you don’t do is bring a gun to a fight,” Binger said. “What the accused wants you to believe is that because he was the one who brought the weapon, he can kill.”
Binger then drew a “contrast” between two different scenarios: one in which two unarmed men are involved in a bar fight, as in the “Road House” scene before the shooting.
The only difference between a bar fight and the case at hand, he argued, “did the accused bring a gun … That’s why he has to come up with this naughty theory that Joseph Rosenbaum was not only going to take the gun, but then fire it against the accused.
Rittenhouse is on trial for the August 25, 2020 shooting of Joseph Rosenbaum, Anthony Heuber and Gaige Grosskreutz. Rittenhouse carried out the shots during a protest, one of many protests that erupted following a police officer shooting and injuring a black man, Jacob Blake.
Rosenbaum and Heuber died of their injuries. Rittenhouse, who claims to have acted in self-defense, faces seven counts, including first degree manslaughter and unlawfully carrying a firearm as a minor. If convicted, homicide charges carry a maximum sentence of life in prison.
In closing arguments, Binger told the jury that Rittenhouse was guilty on all counts. “You lose the right to self-defense… when you’re the one creating the danger,” Binger said.
“Road House” received mixed reviews at the box office and from critics, but it has become somewhat of a cult classic. Twitter users reacted to Binger’s reference to the film with a mixture of disbelief and disapproval.
“I don’t know what’s worse”, Katie Pavlich tweeted. “The prosecutor’s absurd argument about self-defense or … the fact that he used this graphic in a presentation to court and jury.”
“Using a scene from the movie ‘Roadhouse’ to substantiate your case is probably not a good strategy,” Art Goodrich replied.