A judge on Wednesday set a new trial date for Kyle Rittenhouse, the 18-year-old from Illinois accused of killing two people and wounding a third during riots in Kenosha, Wis., over the summer — pushing the date back seven months until at least November.
Rittenhouse’s trial was scheduled to begin March 29, but Kenosha County Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger said at a brief virtual hearing that he and defense attorney Mark Richards agreed they both needed more time to prepare, Kenosha News reported. Kenosha County Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder set a new Nov. 1 trial start date, with a May 17 status hearing.
Rittenhouse faces multiple felony counts, including first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless homicide and attempted first-degree intentional homicide and reckless endangerment. He also faces a misdemeanor count of being a minor in possession of a firearm. He appeared Wednesday with his attorney during the court hearing broadcast over Zoom, speaking briefly just once.
“Mr. Rittenhouse, this case is getting older. We’re probably going to go a year from the time you were charged, plus,” Schroeder said. “Do you have any problem with the extension that is being talked about?”
“No, your honor,” Rittenhouse responded.
The judge cautioned that the trial could be pushed back even further, saying the November date was “not written in stone.” Binger said both sides needed more time, citing a “number of outstanding issues,” including DNA testing. Richards agreed to target the fall.
“We’re interested in moving this matter forward but whatever the court decides, we’ll abide by,” he said.
Rittenhouse came to Kenosha in August 2020 from nearby Antioch, Ill., as hundreds of people were protesting and rioting after a police shooting that left Jacob Blake paralyzed. In January, Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley announced that the officers involved would not face criminal charges because Blake was armed with a knife at the time.
According to prosecutors, Rittenhouse traveled to Kenosha from his home in Antioch on Aug. 25 after a local militia posted an online message seeking help protecting businesses.
Rittenhouse, who was 17 at the time, opened fire on protesters Joseph Rosenbaum, Anthony Huber and Gaige Grosskreutz with an AR-15-style rifle. Rosenbaum and Huber were killed. Grosskreutz was wounded but survived. Rittenhouse has argued that he fired in self-defense after the three attacked him.
Grosskreutz and his attorney also attended the hearing Wednesday but did not speak, according to The Associated Press.
The hearing comes a month after prosecutors sought a new arrest warrant for Rittenhouse, arguing he violated conditions of his $2 million bond by failing to inform the court of his current address. They also sought that his bond be increased by $200,000.
Rittenhouse’s attorneys said threats have forced him to move out of the apartment he shared with his mother and go into hiding. The judge refused the prosecutors’ request for the new warrant but required Rittenhouse to provide his current address — but under seal, so the public could not access it, WTMJ-TV Milwaukee reported.
In January, a judge modified Rittenhouse’s bail conditions to include that he was prohibited from associating with known White supremacists and barred from possessing and consuming alcohol and from having firearms.
Prosecutors had requested the modifications after Rittenhouse was seen drinking at a bar in the southeastern Wisconsin city of Mount Pleasant, about 25 miles south of Milwaukee, earlier in the month. The legal drinking age is 21, but under Wisconsin state law, Rittenhouse could legally drink alcohol because he was with his mother.
Rittenhouse also posed for photos and flashed the “OK” sign, “which has been co-opted as a sign of ‘White power’ by known White supremacist groups,” according to a copy of the motion filed by the Kenosha County District Attorney’s Office obtained by Fox News. Prosecutors also alleged five men at the tavern serenaded Rittenhouse with a song that has become the anthem of the Proud Boys
Schroeder later ruled that Rittenhouse “shall not knowingly have conduct with any person or group of persons known to harm, threaten, harass or menace others on the basis of their race, beliefs on the subject of religion, color, national origin, or gender.”
Fox News’ Stephanie Pagones and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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