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Hearing Seeks To Move Protest Shooter For Trial In Wisconsin

FILE - In this Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020 file photo, Kyle Rittenhouse carries a weapon as he walks along Sheridan Road in Kenosha, Wis., during a night of unrest following the weekend police shooting of Jacob Blake. The way his lawyers tell it, the teenager wasn't a scared, gun enthusiast in over his head when he fatally shot two protesters. He was a courageous defender of liberty, a patriot exercising his right to bear arms amid chaos in the streets. But some legal experts say Rittenhouse's lawyers are taking big risks by turning a fairly straightforward self-defense case into a sweeping political argument that mirrors the law-and-order re-election campaign of President Donald Trump. (Adam Rogan/The Journal Times via AP)

FILE - In this Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020 file photo, Kyle Rittenhouse carries a weapon as he walks along Sheridan Road in Kenosha, Wis., during a night of unrest following the weekend police shooting of Jacob Blake. The way his lawyers tell it, the teenager wasn't a scared, gun enthusiast in over his head when he fatally shot two protesters. He was a courageous defender of liberty, a patriot exercising his right to bear arms amid chaos in the streets. But some legal experts say Rittenhouse's lawyers are taking big risks by turning a fairly straightforward self-defense case into a sweeping political argument that mirrors the law-and-order re-election campaign of President Donald Trump. (Adam Rogan/The Journal Times via AP)

A 17-year-old accused of killing two protesters days after Jacob Blake was shot by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, faces a hearing Friday on whether he should be sent to Wisconsin to stand trial on homicide charges that could put him in prison for life.

WAUKEGAN, Ill.: A 17-year-old in Illinois accused of killing two protesters days after Jacob Blake was shot by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, is fighting his return to Wisconsin to face homicide charges that could put him in prison for life.

Kyle Rittenhouse was arrested at his home in Antioch, Illinois, a day after prosecutors say he shot and killed two and wounded a third on the streets of Kenosha on Aug. 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 unrest over the police shooting of Blake, who is Black.

Rittenhouse attorney John Pierce said during a hearing Friday that he intends to fight extradition. The judge gave 14 days for the defense to review papers and file pleadings ahead of an Oct. 9 hearing.

Rittenhouse, 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 faces a mandatory life in prison sentence.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story is below.

A 17-year-old accused of killing two protesters days after Jacob Blake was shot by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, faces a hearing Friday on whether he should be sent to Wisconsin to stand trial on homicide charges that could put him in prison for life.

Kyle 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 Aug. 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 unrest over the shooting of Blake, who is Black.

Rittenhouse, 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.

A judge in Lake County, Illinois, was expected to rule Friday on whether to send Rittenhouse to Kenosha to face the charges. A judge postponed a decision on his transfer last month after Rittenhouses public defender at the time asked for a delay so that Rittenhouse would have time to hire a private attorney.

Rittenhouse, who has been in custody in Illinois since his arrest, appears to have few options to fight the extradition.

His lawyers could argue that hes mentally unfit and isnt cooperating with them, which could delay the process, said David Erickson, a former Illinois judge and prosecutor who isn’t connected to the case.

A prosecutor has to show that a crime was committed in the state of Wisconsin and, more likely than not, this is the guy, he said.

Cheryl T. Bormann, a Chicago-area defense lawyer whos also not involved in the case, said fighting extradition is a losing proposition and that Rittenhouses guilt or innocence has no role in whether Illinois will honor Wisconsins request.

The only real defense to extradition would be that Kyle Rittenhouse is not Kyle Rittenhouse. In other words, his lawyer would have to show that they got the wrong guy, Bormann said.

To some, Rittenhouse is a domestic terrorist whose very presence with a rifle incited the protesters in Kenosha. To others who have become frustrated with demonstrations and unrest across the country hes seen as a hero who took up arms to protect businesses, including some that were damaged during unrest the previous two nights.

According to prosecutors and court documents, Rittenhouse shot and killed 36-year-old Joseph Rosenbaum, of Kenosha, 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 Rittenhouse tripped in the street. As he was on the ground, 26-year-old Anthony Huber, of Silver Lake, hit him with a skateboard and tried to take his rifle away. Rittenhouse opened fire, killing Huber and wounding Gaige Grosskreutz, of West Allis, who was holding a handgun.

The killings happened two days after a white Kenosha police officer shot Blake seven times in the back, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down and sparking outrage after video of the shooting was posted online. A Wisconsin Department of Justice investigation into that shooting is ongoing. The three responding officers are on administrative leave.

Rittenhouses legal team includes Los Angeles-based John Pierce and Lin Wood, a defamation lawyer who represented falsely accused security guard Richard Jewell in the 1996 Olympic Park bombing case in Atlanta and is a lawyer for Sean Hannity, the Fox News host with close ties to President Donald Trump.

Pierce has described Rittenhouse not as a vigilante, but as a model citizen who was cleaning graffiti from a vandalized high school before he received word from a business owner seeking help to protect what was left of his property after rioters burned two of his other buildings.

Pierce and Wood did not respond to messages ahead of Friday’s hearing.

Hubers partner and others filed a federal lawsuit against Facebook this week, saying it refused to remove a militia groups call to arms to protect businesses in Kenosha before the Rittenhouse shootings. The lawsuit, which also names Rittenhouse as a defendant, said he may not have traveled the roughly 15 miles (24 kilometers) from his home to Kenosha had it not been for that Facebook post, though the company said it had evidence to suggest that he followed the militia group’s page or was invited to the event posting.

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Associated Press writer Ed White in Detroit contributed to this report.

Disclaimer: This post has been auto-published from an agency feed without any modifications to the text and has not been reviewed by an editor


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