Sioux Falls native at the center of Rittenhouse murder trial

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — It’s day three of deliberations in the high-profile murder trial of Kyle Rittenhouse.

At the center of the trial is a Sioux Falls native. Long before he was prosecuting criminal cases, Thomas Binger cut his teeth arguing cases here in Sioux Falls.

Binger has been in the national spotlight during the Kyle Rittenhouse murder trial.

Rittenhouse’s attorneys are claiming he shot three men in self-defense, the night riots broke out in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Throughout the trial there has been several heated exchanges between the judge and Binger.

But long before he was ever arguing with judges, Binger was arguing cases as a member of the Washington High School debate team.

“He was the kind of kid who wasn’t satisfied with just what he saw first, he would look way beyond that,” Bob Stevens said.

Stevens, who was Binger’s coach back in 1989, says Binger was a great debater.

“He and his partner actually ended up finishing 4th in the nation, their senior years.”

Stevens says debate gives someone who’s in a position like Bigner, the foundation to make a reasonable argument.

“I think one of the things was probably he was persistent, he wasn’t satisfied at looking at an argument just on the surface,” Stevens said.

Stevens says he hasn’t been following the trial too closely, but regardless of how you feel about the trial, Stevens is happy to see one of his former students in the national spotlight.

“When the trial is over I’m going to have to send him a thank you note or something, because he gave me something to brag about to my debate class that I always talk about the value of debate and the things that you can get from it and I was able to say now here’s somebody who graduated from Washington High School, a Sioux Falls native and he’s on national television, maybe one of you will be doing that someday,” Stevens said.

On Wednesday, Rittenhouse’s attorneys have asked the judge to declare a mistrial saying the defense received an inferior copy of a potentially crucial video from prosecutors.

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