KENOSHA, Wis. – Kyle Rittenhouse, the teenager accused in the shooting deaths of two men and the wounding of another during protests in Wisconsin, was ordered on Thursday to stand trial.
Lawyers for Rittenhouse, 17, of Antioch, Illinois, attempted to have two of six counts dismissed, but they were denied by Kenosha County Court Commissioner Loren Keating, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. Keating added there was probable cause that Rittenhouse committed the crimes charged and ordered him bound over for trial, the newspaper reported.
Rittenhouse is charged with homicide and attempted homicide for fatally shooting Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber, and for wounding Gaige Grosskreutz on Aug. 25 during a night of unrest in Kenosha, WTMJ reported. Demonstrations and unrest occurred in the wake of Kenosha police wounding Jacob Blake, a Black man, the television station reported.
Rittenhouse, who was freed on $2 million bail on Nov. 20, appeared at the hearing via Zoom with his attorney, Mark Richards, the Journal Sentinel reported.
Rittenhouse told police he shot his weapon in self-defense while guarding someone’s business, WISN reported.
Before the preliminary hearing began, Richards argued for the dismissals in a written motion, the Journal Sentinel reported. One was that an exception to Wisconsin’s law against minors possessing dangerous weapons applied to Rittenhouse.
Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger countered that argument.
“We don’t allow teens to run around with guns. It’s that simple. The statute is clear,” Binger told the court. “This is exactly why we have this law, because teens shouldn’t be allowed to run around with dangerous weapons, because bad things happen.”
Richards also argued that the second count, a charge of recklessly endangering the safety of a video journalist near the shooting that killed Rosenbaum, should be dismissed because the complaint did not address how the man was in danger, the Journal Sentinel reported.
Keating denied the defense motion.
Rittenhouse will be arraigned on Jan. 5 in Kenosha County Circuit Court, WISN reported. If convicted, Rittenhouse could be sentenced to life in prison.
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