Lawyers representing a northern Illinois teen accused of fatally shooting anti-police demonstrators failed in their bid to have multiple charges dropped.
Kenosha County Court Commissioner Loren Keating has ordered Antioch, Illinois, teen Kyle Rittenhouse to stand trial on all six charges, including first-degree intentional homicide.
“Judge has ordered Kyle Rittenhouse to stand trial on all six counts—including charges related to the deaths of two men and the shooting of a third during a Kenosha protest in August,” Daily Beast reporter Pilar Melendez said on Twitter. “Rittenhouse remains free on $2 million bail.”
The decision came despite efforts from lead criminal defense attorney Mark Richards to have some of the charges dropped.
Kenosha County prosecutors previously charged Rittenhouse with killing Anthony Huber, 26, and Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and injuring Gaige Grosskreutz, 22, according to the criminal complaint obtained by the Guardian. Charges include the “first-degree reckless homicide” of Rosenbaum and “first-degree intentional homicide” of Huber.
Rittenhouse maintains he acted in self-defense, a statement the president has deemed plausible.
President Trump previously showed graphic footage of the alleged incident that strongly suggests Rittenhouse only opened fire after falling to the ground and getting attacked by protesters in Kenosha.
“You saw the same tape as I saw, and he was trying to get away from them, I guess, it looks like,” he said in a statement. “And he fell, and then they very violently attacked him.”
The president does not believe the teen would have pulled the trigger unless he genuinely thought his life was in danger.
“But I guess he was in very big trouble,” he said. “He would have been … he probably would have been killed.”
Pierce Bainbridge Global Managing Partner John Pierce confirmed he would lead Rittenhouse’s defense, and even suggested damages would be sought from mainstream media outlets that allegedly slandered the teen.
“So that it does not take Kyle’s supporters by surprise, effective immediately I am taking over all civil matters for Kyle including his future defamation claims,” he said on Twitter. “I will also be orchestrating all fundraising for defense costs. The terrific Mark Richards will proceed in Wisconsin.”
Pierce is also trying to appeal to supporters to donate to Rittenhouse’s defense expenses.
“Please tune in to Newsmax at 7:50 a.m. tomorrow to see myself and Wendy Rittenhouse discuss the case and the new fundraising efforts that will commence tomorrow for Kyle’s defense,” he said.
An online fundraising campaign on GiveSendGo successfully raised $580,174 of the $500,000 goal to help cover the family’s legal defense costs. The sum was nearly three times higher than the original target of $200,000 back in August.
The family is continuing to accept pledges to help improve their chances of winning this legal battle.