MADISON, Wisconsin — A Wisconsin judge was scheduled to hear arguments Friday over whether prosecutors should return the assault rifle he used to shoot three people during a street protest to Kyle Rittenhouse.
Rittenhouse shot the men dead during the 2020 Kenosha protest, killing Anthony Huber and Joseph Rosenbaum and wounding Gaige Grosskreutz in the arm. Rittenhouse claimed he shot in self-defense after each of the men attacked him. A jury acquitted him of multiple charges last year, including murder.
Rittenhouse’s attorney, Mark Richards, filed a motion Jan 19 asks prosecutors to return Rittenhouse’s rifle, his ammunition, his facemask and other clothing he wore the night of the shooting. Richards and David Hancock, a spokesperson for Rittenhouse, said last week that Rittenhouse wants to destroy the rifle and dispose of the rest of the stuff so that nothing can be used as a political symbol or trophy to celebrate the shooting.
Conservatives across the country praised Rittenhouse and said he defended Kenosha against far-left militants. liberals have painted him as a trigger-happy vigilante.
The hearing was before Judge Bruce Schroeder, the Kenosha County judge who presided over Rittenhouse’s trial.
Protesters took to the streets in Kenosha for several nights in August 2020 after a white police officer shot black man Jacob Blake in the back while Blake resisted arrest during a domestic disturbance. The shooting left Blake paralyzed from the waist down.
The protests became chaotic at times, with people setting buildings on fire. Rittenhouse and his friend, Dominick Black, joined a group of militiamen on the night of August 25 to protect a parking lot of used cars.
Rittenhouse, then 17 and living in Antioch, Illinois, was armed with an AR-15-style rifle that Black had bought for him earlier that year because he was too young to buy a firearm under Wisconsin law.
According to the motion, Black had agreed that the rifle would become Rittenhouse’s property on his 18th birthday, January 3, 2021.
Bystanders and surveillance videos that Rosenbaum was chasing Rittenhouse just before midnight and Rittenhouse shot him as he approached him. He shot Huber after Huber waved a skateboard at his head and Grosskreutz afterwards Grosskreutz ran to him with a gun in his hand. Everyone involved in the shooting was white.
Black pleaded no contest for two quotes earlier this month for contributing to the delinquency of a minor in exchange for dropping two charges of intent to sell a dangerous weapon to a person under the age of 18.