Dominick Black, Kyle Rittenhouse‘s older friend who purchased the assault-style rifle for him, will plead no contest to contributing to the delinquency of a minor to avoid convictions on the two felonies he’s facing, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.
According to the outlet, Black, who is now 20-years-old, purchased the Smith & Wesson M&P 15 rifle for Rittenhouse at a hardware store in Rusk County, Wisconsin in May 2020. Black was 18 at the time, while Rittenhouse was 17, and legally unable to buy the firearm himself.
Three months after Black bought the gun for his buddy, Rittenhouse used it to kill two people and wound a third during protests for Jacob Blake in Kenosha.
During Rittenhouse’s contentious trial, Black was the first witness prosecutors brought to the stand. His case could be affected by Judge Bruce Schroeder’s decision to honor the defense’s request to toss the unlawful possession of a firearm as a minor charge — which was a misdemeanor, carrying a maximum of nine months in jail.
At the time, Rittenhouse attorneys Mark Richards and Corey Chirafisi pointed out an exception in the state law that allows minors to possess shotguns and rifles as long as they’re not short-barreled. Since Rittenhouse’s rifle’s barrel was longer than 16 inches, the minimum barrel length allowed in the state, Schroeder dismissed the charge.
Schroeder is also the judge in Black’s case, so his attorney hopes his client will receive the same leniency. According to kenoshacountyeye.com, Kenosha County Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger filed a proposed plea agreement suggesting Black would plead no contest to a non-criminal citation and accept a $2,000 fine to have the felony counts dismissed.
It’s unclear whether Judge Schroeder will reject the deal or simply dismiss the original felony counts due to his previous ruling in the Rittenhouse trial. A hearing for Black’s case is scheduled to occur on Monday (Jan. 10).