Kyle Rittenhouse, a young gunman facing criminal charges in the killing of two men and the serious injury of a third this summer in Kenosha, Wis., entered not guilty pleas to all charges during an arraignment Tuesday.
Rittenhouse, now 18, appeared before Kenosha County Circuit Court Commissioner Loren Keating by video link from the office of his attorney Mark Richards. He is free on $2 million bail, largely provided by donors. Rittenhouse was wearing a light blue shirt and dark tie along with a black facial covering.
Keating asked Rittenhouse if he understood that the previously imposed conditions of bond and bail “remain in full force and effect.”
“Yes sir,” Rittenhouse replied.
The charges facing Rittenhouse include first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless homicide and attempted first-degree intentional reckless homicide. An additional charge of violation of curfew the night of the shootings was added last week, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
Rittenhouse is accused of shooting three men — Anthony Huber and Joseph Rosenbaum, who were killed, and Gaige Grosskreutz, who was seriously wounded — during unrest in the city following the police shooting of Jacob Blake.
The not guilty pleas by Rittenhouse come as Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers authorized the mobilization of 500 of the state’s National Guard troops while officials ready for potentially more unrest in Kenosha.
Michael Graveley, the Kenosha County district attorney, announced Tuesday that no charges will be brought against the white Kenosha police officer who shot Blake, a Black man, several times at close range in August.
The Rittenhouse case has highlighted divisions in the United States on issues of race and gun control.
Conservative groups and sympathizers have sought to paint Rittenhouse, who was 17 at the time of the Aug. 25 shootings, as a staunch supporter of the Blue Lives Matter movement and a patriot.
He is said to have crossed into Wisconsin from Antioch, Ill., near the Wisconsin-Illinois border where he lives, to join militiamen who were purported to be in Kenosha to help law enforcement protect property from being destroyed during the August protests.
Black Lives Matter supporters and others have sought to characterize Rittenhouse as a white vigilante, who brought a semiautomatic weapon to already destructive demonstrations with the intent of stoking more violence.
A pretrial conference for Rittenhouse is scheduled for March 10.
Author: Brakkton Booker