Dec. 4 (UPI) — A Wisconsin judge on Thursday ordered Kyle Rittenhouse, an Illinois teenager charged with fatally shooting two people at an August protest in Kenosha, to stand trial.
Rittenhouse is set to be arraigned Jan. 5 in Kenosha County Circuit Court after County Commissioner Loren Keating determined the state presented enough probable cause of felony actions for the case to proceed to trial.
Rittenhouse was released from jail in November after posting $2 million bail.
The 17-year-old faces two felony charges of homicide in the deaths of Anthony M. Huber and Joseph Rosenbaum, and felony attempted homicide for injuring Gaige Grosskreutz during protests following the police shooting of Jacob Blake.
He also faces a misdemeanor charge of possession of a dangerous weapon while under the age of 18.
During Thursday’s preliminary hearing, Rittenhouse’s attorney, Mark Richards, sought to argue that his client acted in self-defense, presenting screenshots and surveillance video he said showed Rittenhouse being chased by a protester with a gun and struck with a skateboard by Huber while on the ground. He also presented a photo showing Rosenbaum with a shirt covering his face, noting that committing a crime while masked is a criminal act in Wisconsin
“The state is trying to put forth a one-sided, stilted view of what happened to protect someone who does not deserve the protection of the state,” Richards said.
Kenosha County Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger accused Richards of attempting to introduce “a cast of characters” who were among “hundreds of people” present at the protest on the night of the shootings.
Binger also opposed Richards’ attempt to have the charge of possession of a dangerous weapon dismissed, saying the 17-year-old “went running around the streets of Kenosha after curfew with a very dangerous weapon.”
“We don’t trust [minors] with these weapons because of exactly what happened in this case,” he said.
Keating ruled that the arguments brought up by Rittenhouse’s defense should be taken up at trial.