KENOSHA, Wis. - Sending a 17-year-old accused of killing two protesters days after Jacob Blake was shot by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, to stand trial in Wisconsin would “turn him over to the mob,” defense attorneys argued in court records Thursday.
Kyle Rittenhouse was arrested at his home in Antioch, Illinois, a day after prosecutors say he shot and killed two protesters and injured a third on the streets of Kenosha on Aug. 25. He has been held in Illinois since then after his attorneys indicated late last month that they planned to fight his extradition to Wisconsin.
Attorneys for Rittenhouse argued in the document filed in Lake County Court late on Thursday that he was acting in self-defense and sending him to Wisconsin authorities would violate his constitutional rights. They also argue that Wisconsin prosecutors and Illinois authorities didn’t follow legal technicalities required for extradition.
Extradition is typically a straightforward process, and legal experts have expressed doubt that Rittenhouse’s attorneys could successfully prevent a court from sending him to Wisconsin to face charges there.
Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, charged with homicide in fatal shooting of two Kenosha protesters
The document echoes attorneys’ previous portrayal of Rittenhouse as a courageous patriot who was exercising his right to bear arms during unrest over the shooting of Blake, who is Black.
Extraditing Rittenhouse, they claim, "would be to turn him over to the mob.”
“The premature and unsupported charges are contributing to unwarranted public condemnation,” attorneys wrote. “Rittenhouse has been publicly branded a ‘mass murderer,’ a ‘terrorist,’ a ‘racist,’ and more.”
Rittenhouse is due back in court Friday, but a Lake County, Illinois judge is not expected to immediately make a decision on the extradition issue. Judge Paul Novak said at Rittenhouse’s last hearing in late September that he would schedule a hearing on the issue once Rittenhouse’s attorneys laid out their arguments in writing.