Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old charged with multiple counts concerning an incident at a violent protest in Wisconsin, will fight extradition to that state. His attorneys have been granted two weeks to prepare their defense the Wall Street Journal reported.
Rittenhouse faces a number of felony counts in Wisconsin including first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless homicide, and attempted first-degree intentional homicide. If convicted Rittenhouse faces life in prison.
Rittenhouse’s legal team, which includes Los Angeles-based attorney John Pierce and defamation lawyer Lin Wood of Atlanta, has taken the unusual step of contesting extradition from Illinois to Wisconsin. “We intend to challenge extradition by habeas corpus,” said Pierce. “These are going to be involving issues of some legal complexity, frankly, that have not arisen in this country for some time, so there’s going to be a lot of legal research involved in this.”
Lake County (IL) State’s Attorney Michael Nerheim said, “In 20 years, I haven’t seen one where somebody challenges extradition, especially once the governor’s warrant been issued. Oftentimes, what happens is in a situation like this, people will waive extradition. We don’t even get to the point where we need a governor’s warrant, but in this one, we instituted that process pretty quickly. On Sept. 11, the governor of Wisconsin did make the formal make the request to our governor, Gov. Pritzker, and again he has signed that and that was received by our sheriff’s department in my office this morning.”
Rittenhouse traveled around 15 miles from his home in Illinois to Kenosha to protect businesses in danger from riots stemming from the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a black man. Police shot Blake in the back while attempting to arrest him for violating a restraining order related to an open warrant for felony sexual assault. Blake was paralyzed from the waist down as a result of his wounds.
Rittenhouse shot and killed demonstrators Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, of Kenosha and Anthony Huber, 26, of Silver Lake and wounded Gaige Grosskreutz of West Allis. All three demonstrators are white. Grosskreutz was seen on video of the incident holding a handgun.
Rosenbaum was shot and killed after throwing what appeared to be a plastic bag at Rittenhouse and then attempting to wrestle away Rittenhouse’s weapon. Huber is seen on video striking a prone Rittenhouse with a skateboard and trying to steal Rittenhouse’s rifle.
Pierce said that Rittenhouse was acting to protect himself from violent attackers. “If this is not self-defense for Kyle Rittenhouse under the circumstances, then no one can protect themselves, no one can protect their family and no one can protect their country. We are not going to allow a prosecutor in Kenosha, Wis., to take it away from Kyle.”
Wood said in a statement, “For 43 years I have practiced law under the guiding principle of my profession–the client’s interests always come first. I pursue truth to achieve justice. Kyle’s legal team is focused on truth which will achieve justice for this falsely accused young boy. Everything else is secondary.”
The extradition hearing for Rittenhouse is now scheduled for October 9 at 9 a.m…