Kyle Rittenhouse’s lawyers have argued that sending the 17-year-old back to Wisconsin to face trial for shooting dead two protesters would ‘turn him over to the mob’ as they continue to fight his extradition from Illinois.
The teenager will for now remain in custody in his home state of Illinois following a brief video court hearing on Friday in Lake County, Illinois.
Rittenhouse was arrested at his home in Antioch, Illinois, a day after prosecutors say he shot and killed two protesters and injured a third on the streets of Kenosha on August 25.
He has been held in Illinois since then after his attorneys indicated late last month that they planned to fight his extradition to Wisconsin.
Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, will for now remain in custody in his home state of Illinois following a brief video court hearing on Friday in Lake County, Illinois
In court documents filed ahead of Friday’s hearing, Rittenhouse’s attorneys argued that he was acting in self-defense and extraditing him to Wisconsin authorities would violate his constitutional rights.
His defense team have previously portrayed the teen as a courageous patriot who was exercising his right to bear arms during unrest over the police shooting of black man Jacob Blake.
Rittenhouse’s lawyers have claimed that extraditing Rittenhouse ‘would be to turn him over to the mob’.
‘The premature and unsupported charges are contributing to unwarranted public condemnation,’ his attorneys aruged in the court filings.
‘Rittenhouse has been publicly branded a ‘mass murderer’, a ‘terrorist’, a ‘racist’, and more.’
During the hearing on Friday, Judge Paul Novak scheduled an October 30 hearing on the extradition request despite prosecutors saying they were prepared to move faster.
Prosecutors say Rittenhouse shot and killed two protesters and wounded a third on the streets of Kenosha on August 25. His attorneys have said Rittenhouse acted in self-defense and have portrayed him as a courageous patriot who was exercising his right to bear arms
During the hearing on Friday, Judge Paul Novak (left) scheduled an October 30 hearing on the extradition request. John Pierce, an attorney for Rittenhouse, said there was ‘no reason to rush’ and questioned Wisconsin prosecutors’ motivation for pursuing the charges
‘The law is pretty clear cut on this,’ Lake County Assistant State’s Attorney Stephen Scheller said. ‘This case has been dragging on now, we´re already into October. … We want a hearing as soon as possible.’
John Pierce, an attorney for Rittenhouse, said there was ‘no reason to rush’ and questioned Wisconsin prosecutors’ motivation for pursuing the charges.
‘This is a very unique, extraordinary situation,’ Pierce said.
‘There is a massive amount of video evidence that shows beyond a shadow of a doubt this is not a legitimate criminal prosecution, it is a political prosecution.’
They also argued that Wisconsin prosecutors and Illinois authorities didn´t follow legal technicalities required for extradition.
Angelina Gabriele, Kenosha County’s deputy district attorney, said Friday the county’s documents “are in compliance with all legal requirements and their other claims do not have any legal merit’.
Extradition is typically a straightforward process and legal experts have expressed doubt that Rittenhouse’s attorneys could successfully prevent a court from sending him to Wisconsin to face charges there.
His arrest has become a rallying point for some on the right with a legal defense fund that has attracted millions in donations. Others, however, see Rittenhouse as a domestic terrorist whose presence with a rifle incited the protesters.
Rittenhouse is charged with first-degree intentional homicide in the killing of two protesters: Joseph Rosenbaum (left) and Anthony Huber (right)
Rittenhouse surrendered to police in his hometown of Antioch a day after the killings.
The teen, who is white, is charged with first-degree intentional homicide in the killing of two white protesters and attempted intentional homicide in the wounding of a third.
He also faces a misdemeanor charge of underage firearm possession for wielding a semi-automatic rifle.
If convicted of first-degree homicide, Rittenhouse would be sentenced to life in prison.
The teenager had traveled to Kenosha on August 25 from his home in nearby Antioch, Illinois, in a self-appointed role to protect the streets of Kenosha where the police shooting of Jacob Blake had sparked unrest during protests.
Cellphone videos from the night show chaotic scenes.
According to prosecutors and court documents, Rittenhouse shot and killed 36-year-old Joseph Rosenbaum after Rosenbaum threw a plastic bag at Rittenhouse, missing him, and tried to wrestle his rifle away.
While trying to get away in the immediate aftermath, Rittenhouse was captured on cellphone video saying ‘I just killed somebody.’
According to the complaint filed by prosecutors, someone in the crowd said, ‘Beat him up!’ and another yelled, ‘Get him! Get that dude!’
Video shows that Rittenhouse tripped in the street.
As he was on the ground, 26-year-old Anthony Huber hit him with a skateboard and tried to take his rifle away. Rittenhouse opened fire, killing Huber and wounding Gaige Grosskreutz who was holding a handgun at the time.
Cellphone video that captured some of the action shows Rittenhouse afterward walking slowly toward a police vehicle with his hands up, only to be waved through by police.
He returned to his Illinois home and turned himself in soon after. Police later blamed the chaotic conditions for not arresting Rittenhouse at the scene.
Video shows that Rittenhouse tripped in the street before 26-year-old Anthony Huber hit him with a skateboard and tried to take his rifle away. Rittenhouse opened fire, killing Huber
Rittenhouse then shot and injured Gaige Grosskreutz, who was holding a handgun at the time, as he approached the teenager
Rittenhouse’s mother Wendy defended the teen in an interview with Fox News on Friday, saying he would be dead if he didn’t have a gun that night.
Wendy, a single mother of three, said she didn’t know her son was going to be at the protests in Kenosha until he texted her late on the night of August 25.
Wendy said her son had worked as a lifeguard in Wisconsin the day prior and stayed overnight at a friend’s house. She said the pair spent the day cleaning graffiti off buildings in Kenosha before heading to the areas targeted by demonstrators in the previous nights.
Wendy said her son sent her a text message saying he was okay and that he was going to be ‘doing medics’ at the protests.
She said she woke in the middle of the night and learned of the violence that had unfolded in Kenosha. Wendy said she and Rittenhouse’s two sisters immediately drove from Illinois to Wisconsin in search of the teen.
She said they eventually returned home and Rittenhouse was already there.
‘When I got back home, he was already there,’ she said. ‘All I did was hug him, tell him I love him. He was crying. He was pale.’
Rittenhouse was arrested when he handed himself in to police in his home state.
Wendy said that in the weeks after the shootings she struggled to watch the videos that emerged that captured the ordeal, adding they made her ‘sick to my stomach’.
‘I get to the point where the first guy was chasing him to the gas station … And I see this mob chasing my son. The guy hitting my son in the head with a skateboard,’ she said.
‘Looking at my son’s face… I just cry, I was sick to my stomach. This mob was chasing my son to try to kill him.
‘If he didn’t have that gun, he would’ve been dead.’
Wendy denied accusations that she drove Rittenhouse to the protests or that she gave her underage son the gun used in the shootings.
Kyle Rittenhouse’s mother Wendy has recalled the moment her ‘crying and pale’ son returned home to Illinois after fatally shooting two protesters in Wisconsin – as she defended the 17-year-old who she says would be dead if he hadn’t been armed. They are pictured in an undated photo
‘I did not drive Kyle. I did not give Kyle that gun and people want to assume that,’ she said. ‘They’re wrong. I did not drive my son to Kenosha that night.’
Wendy said the gun belonged to the friend her son had stayed with and that he only ever used it when he was in Wisconsin.
She said the controversy surrounding the shooting has resulted in her taking a leave of absence from the nursing home where she works and relocating to another location with her two daughters.
Wendy said she fears being a target and the family no longer feel safe at home.
‘We can’t even go back home. We don’t even have a home because the fear of them breaking in my house, killing my daughters, killing me, and if Kyle was there, to kill him.’
Rittenhouse’s arrest has become a rallying point for some on the right with a legal defense fund that has attracted millions in donations.
Others, however, see Rittenhouse as a domestic terrorist who presence with a rifle incited the protesters.
Wendy addressed some of that controversy in her Fox News interview as she accused Joe Biden of using her son as a political pawn.
Footage of Rittenhouse carrying his gun was included in a mash up video tweeted by Biden and his campaign that called on President Trump to denounce white supremacy.
Rittenhouse’s attorneys have threatened to sue Biden for libel, claiming the video suggests the teen is a white supremacist.
‘I am angry. My son is not a white supremacist. He is not a racist. He is not in no militia,’ Wendy said.
‘Former Vice President Biden, how dare [he] use my son for a political ad for his campaign.’