17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, the young man charged in the killing of two people and the injuring of another during protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, will be forced to stand trial for all of the charges against him, after his legal team lost a motion to dismiss two of the six charges.
During a preliminary hearing at Kenosha County Circuit Court on Thursday, court commissioner Loren Keating ruled that there was enough evidence for Rittenhouse to trial for the murder charges, as well as the weapons charges against him.
In addition to the two murder charges he faces, Rittenhouse is also looking at charges of possession of a dangerous weapon while under the age of 18 and felony attempted homicide for injuring a third man.
Rittenhouse’s legal team argued that he acted in self-defense when shooting all three individuals. However, Keating said that these issues are for a jury to decide, and that the charges can not be thrown out before the trial.
Earlier this month, Rittenhouse was released from prison on a $2 million bond, and will remain free until his trial. It is not clear when his trial will officially begin, but an arraignment in the case is scheduled for January 5th.
Rittenhouse had traveled to the protests with a militia group that organized online and claimed to be assisting police and protecting private property during the demonstrations.
The details of exactly what happened are still being investigated and debated, but at some point during the protest, Rittenhouse shot a protester multiple times.
Rittenhouse then began to try to get away from the area, but protesters who witnessed the shooting chased after him and tried to stop him.
When the group caught up with Rittenhouse, another person was shot and killed after a short scuffle. After that, Rittenhouse was able to walk right past the police and leave the city. In one of the videos taken by witnesses, Rittenhouse can be heard saying “I just killed somebody.”
Rittenhouse turned himself in at a local police station in Antioch the morning after the shootings, where he apparently admitted to shooting protesters, according to records from the Antioch Police Department.
He was with his mother when he walked into the police station before 1:30 a.m. on Aug. 26.
Earlier this month, Rittenhouse shared the story of how he purchased the gun illegally, and used the money that he got from his coronavirus stimulus check to buy the weapon used at the protests.
Rittenhouse was too young to buy the weapon in the state of Wisconsin, so he gave the money to his friend, Dominick Black, who was 18-years-old at the time and old enough to buy a gun.
Rittenhouse admitted in an interview with the Washington Post that he used money from his stimulus check to purchase the rifle, and also admitted that he bought it for the specific purpose of taking it to the protests.
“I got my $1,200 from the coronavirus Illinois unemployment ’cause I was on furlough from YMCA and I got my first unemployment check so I was like, ‘Oh, I’ll use this to buy it,‘” Rittenhouse told the Washington Post.
Black is now charged with two felony counts of intentionally giving a dangerous weapon to a minor resulting in death. Black admitted to police that he bought Rittenhouse the Smith & Wesson M&P rifle because he wasn’t old enough to get one himself.
Black was still the legal owner of the gun, but the two had agreed to transfer the gun ownership to Rittenhouse when he reached his 18th birthday.