Kyle Rittenhouse, accused of killing two people during a riot in Kenosha, will be extradited to Wisconsin to face homicide charges, an Illinois judge has ruled. His lawyers and supporters argued the teen acted in self-defense.
Judge Paul Novak ruled on Friday that Rittenhouse should be extradited across state lines to stand trial in Wisconsin. The 17-year-old faces homicide charges for shooting dead two people taking part in protests and riots in Kenosha on August 25, and a charge of attempted homicide for wounding another. He is also accused of underage firearm possession. Should he be convicted, Rittenhouse could face life in prison.
BREAKING: Illinois judge issues ruling that Kyle Rittenhouse will be extradited to Wisconsin pic.twitter.com/X7A6j04rFq
Rittenhouse’s lawyers fought the extradition, with attorney John Pierce calling the case against him in Wisconsin a “political prosecution.” However, state-to-state extradition requests are rarely refused.
On the night of August 25, Rittenhouse traveled the ten miles from his hometown of Antioch, Illinois, to Kenosha. As ‘Black Lives Matter’ riots raged in the city, Rittenhouse stood with other gun owners to protect property from vandalism. As clashes broke out, Rittenhouse fatally shot a man who apparently lunged for him. Fleeing the scene, Rittenhouse tripped and fell, but turned to shoot two men who attacked him, one with a skateboard and another holding a handgun. The latter was injured, while the other man died.
The teenager walked toward police lines with his hands raised after the shooting, but was waved through. A day later, he turned himself in to law enforcement in Antioch.
Rittenhouse’s supporters say he acted in self-defense, while his opponents have labeled him a “domestic terrorist” who crossed state lines to confront rioters. The self-defense argument will now be evaluated in Wisconsin, with Judge Novak ruling that “this Illinois court shall not determine if Rittenhouse has a valid self-defense argument for the Wisconsin charges.”
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