A Wisconsin court commissioner on Monday afternoon set bail at $2 million for Kyle Rittenhouse, who faces charges stemming from the fatal shooting of two men and the wounding of a third during August protests in Kenosha.
The hearing was the first since Lake County sheriff’s deputies handed off the Antioch 17-year-old to Kenosha County officers Friday afternoon. His transfer came immediately after a Lake County judge rejected his lawyers’ efforts to block his extradition from Illinois to Wisconsin.
Rittenhouse’s lawyers — who have argued he fired in self-defense — had voiced concerns for his safety in an adult lockup, but Kenosha County sheriff’s department officials have said the teen would be held in a cell for juvenile detainees at the facility.
Kenosha County prosecutors have charged Rittenhouse with shooting three men with an AR-15-style rifle Aug. 25 during protests over white police Officer Rusten Sheskey’s shooting of 29-year-old Jacob Blake, a Black man, days earlier.
Video from the scene of the protests showed Rittenhouse apparently trying to surrender to police in Kenosha after the shootings, but they didn’t arrest him. He was arrested the next day in Lake County after he appeared at the Antioch police station with his mother and tearfully said, “I shot two white kids,” records show. He was held without bail in the Lake County juvenile facility for two months.
His lawyers are continuing to promote fundraising efforts for the teen’s defense. Conservatives and gun rights activists took up his cause almost immediately after the shootings, which happened as Rittenhouse and other heavily armed people inserted themselves into the protests that raged for several nights in Kenosha.
Kenosha County prosecutors have alleged that video from the night of the shootings showed the teen running across a parking lot, trailed by Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, of Kenosha. A witness told police that Rosenbaum, who appeared on video to be unarmed, had tried to grab the gun before he was fatally shot, prosecutors wrote.
The teen’s lawyers alleged in their petition fighting the extradition process that Rosenbaum threatened Rittenhouse, chased him and lunged for his gun. The teen fired “under grave risk of immediate harm,” the petition stated.
Rittenhouse ran before someone knocked off his hat, and he tripped and fell, prosecutors wrote. Then, Anthony Huber, 26, of Silver Lake, Wisconsin, approached with a skateboard and tried to grab the gun as the skateboard “(made) contact” with Rittenhouse’s shoulder, prosecutors wrote. The gunman then fired a shot that killed Huber, prosecutors alleged.
Rittenhouse’s lawyers argued in their filing that the skateboard hit the teen’s head and he shot Huber as they wrestled over the rifle.
Prosecutors wrote that Rittenhouse then shot Gaige Grosskreutz, of West Allis, Wisconsin. Grosskreutz appeared to be holding a handgun when he was wounded in the arm, prosecutors wrote.
The teen’s lawyers contended in their filing that Grosskreutz “lowered his handgun in Rittenhouse’s direction.”
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