Kyle Rittenhouse fights extradition to Wisconsin to face charges for shooting dead two protesters in Kenosha
Rittenhouse has been charged with first-degree intentional homicide in the killing of two protesters and attempted intentional homicide in the wounding of a third
Kenosha shooting suspect Kyle Rittenhouse, who has been charged with shooting two protesters dead and injuring another, is fighting his extradition to Wisconsin from Illinois, reports state. The 17-year-old's lawyer, John Pierce, during an online court hearing in Illinois on Friday, September 25, said that he planned to fight the request by Kenosha prosecutors that Rittenhouse be transferred to Wisconsin to face charges for the shootings. Rittenhouse shot and killed two protesters and wounded a third on the streets of Kenosha during a demonstration to protest Jacob Blake's shooting on August 25, according to prosecutors. The teenager's attorney, however, has portrayed Rittenhouse as a courageous patriot, saying that he acted in self-defense and was exercising his right to bear arms during the protest.
As demonstrators marched on August 25 demanding justice for Blake fighting for his life at a hospital, they sometimes faced-off with armed civilians. The scuffle, however, took a deadly turn when Rittenhouse opened fire, allegedly killing two people and wounding a third, according to a criminal complaint. Within minutes of the shooting, police and emergency services rushed to the scene and chaotic videos of the incident began emerging on social media. The suspect, however, succeeded in slipping past a group of officers unnoticed. The teenager was later caught nearly 30 miles away in Antioch, Illinois, and was arrested.
The teen appeared during Friday's hearing at the Lake County Circuit Court in Illinois through video link from a detention facility. The 17-year-old was wearing a grey mask to cover his face and a black sweatshirt. The teen's only remark during the hearing was a greeting to the judge, saying: "Good morning, your honor." The judge, Paul Novak, reportedly gave 14 days for the defense to review papers and file pleadings before the October 9 hearing. The decision was made after Pierce asked the judge for a month to prepare arguments challenging the extradition of his client. "We intend to challenge extradition by writ of habeas corpus," Pierce said.
Rittenhouse has been charged with first-degree intentional homicide in the killing of two White protesters — Anthony M Huber and Joseph Rosenbaum — and attempted intentional homicide in the wounding of a third. The teenager is also facing a misdemeanor charge of underage firearm possession for wielding a semi-automatic rifle. Rittenhouse will face a mandatory life imprisonment sentence if convicted of first-degree homicide.
A criminal complaint said that just minutes before the shooting, he had told a journalist that he was a trained medic. Just moments before the deadly shooting, Rittenhouse was reportedly clashing with people gathered near a car dealership. Rosenbaum, who was unarmed, was among them and reportedly threw an object that appeared to be a plastic bag at the teen but missed, the complaint stated. Rosenbaum and the suspect then moved across the parking lot and appeared to be standing close to each other when loud bangs were heard and Rosenbaum fell on the ground.
The complaint alleges that as Rosenbaum lay on the ground, the suspect made a call from his cellphone and said, "I just killed somebody" as he ran away from the scene. Reports state that the teen's friend received the call from him at 11:46 pm on Tuesday, August 25. Rosenbaum was declared dead on Wednesday, August 26, at 12:47 am. A video of the incident also emerged showing the suspect running from the scene as people ran after him. One person in the video could be heard yelling "Hey, he shot him!" while another said "Get him! Get that dude!"
Investigators later confirmed that the gun Rittenhouse was carrying was a "Smith & Wesson AR-15 style .223 rifle," the criminal complaint said. According to his social media accounts, the 17-year-old appears to have an affinity for guns and supports Blue Lives Matter and President Donald Trump, even appearing at a front row for one of the Republican leader's rallies.