Teenager charged in US shootings due in court

Reuters

Posted at Dec 03 2020 11:58 PM

Kyle Rittenhouse, the teenager charged with killing two people and injuring another during demonstrations on the streets of Kenosha, Wisconsin, listens to defense attorney John Pierce during an extradition hearing in Lake County in Waukegan, Illinois, on October 30, 2020. Nam Y. Huh/Pool via Reuters/File Photo

Kyle Rittenhouse, a US teenager accused of fatally shooting two protesters and wounding a third during protests in Wisconsin over the summer, is due in court on Thursday, where his lawyer will argue for dismissal of two of the six charges against him.

The shootings occurred in August in Kenosha, Wisconsin amid civil unrest sparked by the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man. Rittenhouse's lawyers have said he was helping protect property and that he acted in self defense.

The 17-year-old was extradited in late October from his home state of Illinois to Kenosha to face the charges. Rittenhouse, who has become a cause celebre of sorts for the political right, posted $2 million bail after a public fundraising campaign.

The hearing on Thursday, scheduled for 10:30 a.m. CST (1630 GMT) in front of a Kenosha County judge, is aimed at deciding whether the evidence is sufficient for the case to go to trial.

Rittenhouse was charged with first-degree reckless homicide and five other criminal counts related to the shootings, in which Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber were killed and Gaige Grosskreutz was wounded. 

The charges also include one count for illegal possession of a weapon and a count for allegedly endangering the safety of journalist Richard McGinnis.

Mark Richards, a lawyer for Rittenhouse, filed a motion this week seeking to have the weapons charge and the count related to McGinnis tossed, arguing that a "reasonable person" could not conclude those crimes were committed.

Richards declined an interview request ahead of the hearing. The Kenosha County district attorney's office did not respond to a request for comment. 

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