Topline

A Wisconsin court commissioner on Monday set bail at $2 million for Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old facing homicide charges for shooting two protesters and injuring a third amid summer unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin. 

Key Facts

Kenosha County court commissioner Loren Keating said that Rittenhouse poses a serious flight risk, having left Wisconsin for his home state of Illinois after the Aug. 25 shooting and lacking ties to the community. 

“The charges are incredibly serious,” said Keating during Rittenhouse’s first court appearance on homicide, noting that because a conviction would likely result in a “mandatory life sentence or at least significant amounts of time,” Rittenhouse would have a “reasonable basis to flee.” 

Rittenhouse has been charged with killing Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, Anthony Huber, 26, and injuring Gaige Grosskreutz, 22, amid unrest in Wisconsin in the days following the non-lethal police shooting of Jacob Blake. 

The teenager’s attorney Mark Richards had requested Rittenhouse’s release on $750,000, arguing that his client acted in self defense. 

“Who attacked my client first?” asked Richards, blaming Rosenbaum and “the mob, not demonstrators, but rioters with ill intent in their heart.” 

Richards also asked Keating to dismiss the single misdemeanor charge against Rittenhouse for possessing a firearm as a minor, which Keating said he would address at a later date. 

Key Background

Rittenhouse’s case has become a rallying point among some conservatives, who have publicly defended him as a patriot protecting against anarchists. Millions of dollars have been raised for his legal defense fund. John Huber, the father of one of the victims, argued for a higher bond of $4 million because Rittenhouse “has people out there that will help him, militia organizations that can raise money and harbor him.” 

Further Reading 

“Kyle Rittenhouse cried, vomited and worried about social media as he told Antioch cops, ‘I shot two white kids’” (The Chicago Tribune)

“How Social Media Sleuths Found The Suspected Kenosha Shooter 12 Hours Before His Arrest” (Forbes)

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