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Kyle Rittenhouse extradited to Wisconsin to face charges in Kenosha protest shootings

A Lake County judge Friday ruled Rittenhouse, 17, should be extradited to Wisconsin to face the charges.

Kyle Rittenhouse (left, with backwards cap) walks along Sheridan Road in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Aug. 25, 2020, with another armed civilian.
Kyle Rittenhouse (left) walks along Sheridan Road in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Aug. 25, 2020, with another armed civilian.
Adam Rogan/The Journal Times via AP

WAUKEGAN — A Lake County judge ruled Friday that an Antioch teen should be returned to Wisconsin where he is accused of killing two people and injuring another person during the Kenosha protests in August.

Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, had been held in the Lake County juvenile detention facility before he was transported to Wisconsin Friday.

Earlier in the day, one of Rittenhouse’s attorneys, John Pierce, argued in a Waukegan courtroom there are “fundamental and fatal flaws” in the paperwork seeking to have his client returned to Wisconsin.

Lake County Judge Paul Novak rejected those arguments, writing in his order that two judges in Wisconsin had determined there was probable cause for Rittenhouse’s arrest and that Illinois law did not allow him to re-evaluate those determinations at an extradition hearing.

Novak ordered Rittenhouse’s extradition and said other concerns raised by his defense could be heard in Wisconsin.

A spokesman for the Lake County sheriff’s office said Rittenhouse was transferred to the custody of the Kenosha County sheriff’s office immediately after the ruling, about 3:45 p.m.

Pierce said he would be filing an appeal of the judge’s ruling, saying he “strongly disagreed” with Novak’s decision.

“We will never surrender. Kyle will be set free and cleared of all charges,” Pierce tweeted after ruling. “He is grateful to you all and asks for your continued prayers. God Bless Kyle Rittenhouse and the USA.”

Among other things, Pierce said the details of the criminal compliant in the case should have been outlined under oath before a magistrate but that that didn’t happen in this case.

“That is game, set and match,” Pierce said.

Lake County Assistant State’s attorney Stephen Scheller argued that all of the paperwork was in order and there should be no delay in returning Rittenhouse to Wisconsin.

Kyle Rittenhouse sits while listening during an extradition hearing in Lake County court Friday, Oct. 30, 2020, in Waukegan.
Kyle Rittenhouse sits while listening during an extradition hearing in Lake County court Friday.
AP file

Pierce also referred to the charges against his client as political.

“I do believe to the bottom of my heart that this is a political prosecution,” Pierce said.

Rittenhouse, wearing a pale blue shirt and a dark tie, sat in the courtroom during the hearing but did not speak.

Rittenhouse was arrested at his Antioch home a day after prosecutors say he shot and killed two protesters and injured a third in Kenosha on Aug. 25 during protests over the police shooting of Jacob Blake. Blake, 29, was paralyzed in the shooting and is undergoing treatment at an Illinois rehabilitation clinic.

Rittenhouse is charged with first-degree intentional homicide in the killing of two protesters and attempted intentional homicide in the wounding of a third. He also faces a misdemeanor charge of underage firearm possession for wielding a semi-automatic rifle in Wisconsin.

Several supporters of Rittenhouse and two dozen BLM protester Black Lives Matter protesters stood in front of the Lake County courthouse Friday morning.