On Thursday (Dec. 3), Kyle Rittenhouse was ordered to stand trial for the fatal shootings of two men and the wounding of another during protests in Kenosha.
According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Kenosha County Court Commissioner Loren Keating also denied the dismissal of two of six counts against the teen, citing that there was probable cause that he committed the crimes charged. Rittenhouse and his attorney, Mark Richards, attended the hearing via Zoom.
Prior to the preliminary hearing, Richards argued that his client should not be facing counts of recklessly endangering the safety of Richard McGinnis, a local journalist, and possessing a dangerous weapon while under the age of 18.
Richards also said that there was an exception in Wisconsin’s law about minors possessing dangerous weapons and it applied to his client. However, Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger disagreed.
“We don’t allow teens to run around with guns. It’s that simple. The statute is clear,” Binger argued. “This is exactly why we have this law, because teens shouldn’t be allowed to run around with dangerous weapons because bad things happen.”
Last month, Rittenhouse was freed from a Wisconsin jail on a $2 million bond. On Aug. 25, the teen was caught on camera running around with his AR-15 rifle. Video footage from the night of the deadly shootings showed an armed Rittenhouse saying, “I just shot someone,” after one of the protesters was fatally gunned down.
On Nov. 19, The Washington Post posted a telephone interview where the incarcerated teen spoke about purchasing the AR-15 by using his COVID-19 unemployment check. “I got my $1,200 from the Coronavirus Illinois unemployment because I was on furlough from YMCA and I got my first unemployment check, so I was like, ‘Oh, I’ll use this to buy it,’” he said.
Rittenhouse also said that he does not regret being armed and feels like he would not be alive today if he did not have a weapon. “No, I don’t regret it,” he said. “I would have died that night if I didn’t. I feel like I had to protect myself.”