Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old vigilante from Antioch, Illinois who was charged with shooting two men to death during a protest against police violence in Kenosha on August 25, has been extradited to Wisconsin to face homicide charges. Rittenhouse was transported to Kenosha County Jail on Friday after an Illinois judge denied his lawyer’s request for release during a 20-minute hearing.
Judge Paul Novak of Lake County Circuit Court issued his six-page decision at 3:20 p.m. denying a motion by Rittenhouse attorney John Pierce. Pierce argued that the extradition documents contained errors, alleging they were not signed by the appropriate authorities in Wisconsin.
Judge Novak said the paperwork was in order and, even if Pierce’s claims about the extradition documents were true, they were still sufficient to move forward with the transfer of Rittenhouse to Wisconsin.
Attorney Pierce also argued that Illinois would violate Rittenhouse’s constitutional rights by extraditing him to Wisconsin. However, Novak said the holding state plays a limited role in extradition, and that Rittenhouse’s constitutional and self-defense claims need to be raised in Wisconsin.
Novak wrote that Illinois law does not permit him to rule on the validity of Rittenhouse’s self-defense claim or any other matter that falls under the jurisdiction of the Wisconsin courts including whether a 17-year-old may be charged as an adult, whether the charges against him were politically motivated or whether Rittenhouse will be safe in a Wisconsin jail.
Rittenhouse turned himself in at the Antioch, Illinois police station within two hours of the shootings with an AR-15-style assault rifle in Kenosha which killed Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, and injured Gaige Grosskreutz, 26, shortly before midnight. The shooter described himself as a militia member who went to Kenosha on the third night of protests following the police shooting of Jacob Blake.
On Friday, after suing under Illinois open records laws, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel obtained the report of what took place at the Antioch police station when Rittenhouse showed up there with his mother shortly before 1:30 a.m. on August 26. The report provides new details of the arrest of Rittenhouse and what he said had happened earlier in the evening in Kenosha, which is about 30 miles away from Antioch.
The report says that Rittenhouse told police he had been hired to provide security at a car dealership called Car Source in Kenosha. He said he had tried to turn himself into police in Kenosha but was told to go home instead. He stated to the Antioch police, “I shot two white kids.”
The report also said that Rittenhouse needed some medical attention for some bruises and scratches and, while he was being tended to by city firefighters, he told police that he had been hit in the head with a baseball bat, a skateboard and hit in the neck before he fired his weapon.
As the Antioch officer waited for the arrival of Kenosha investigators, the Journal-Sentinel reported, “the teen cycled through a range of emotions, from crying fits to periods of calm to throwing up.” Shortly after this, “Rittenhouse was booked as a fugitive from justice on the Kenosha warrant for first-degree intentional homicide and was taken to a juvenile detention center,” the Journal-Sentinel report said.
As for the weapon he used in Kenosha, Rittenhouse told police investigators that his 18-year-old friend had purchased the AR-15-style rifle for him in Wisconsin. The 18-year-old, who remains unidentified, was also interviewed by police and he confirmed that he was in Kenosha with Rittenhouse and was also armed but did not witness the shootings.
Rittenhouse, who appeared in court on Friday in a light blue shirt and dark tie, has been defended by far-right and fascistic supporters of President Trump as a hero. They have argued that Rittenhouse, who fired his assault rifle numerous times at protesters from point blank range, was acting in self-defense.
The case was taken up by the criminal defense lawyer and right-wing zealot John Pierce, who mounted a campaign for Rittenhouse and raised $2 million for his defense and has said that Rittenhouse is the first hero of a new American Revolution.
Pierce has posted on Twitter and then subsequently removed, “Kyle Rittenhouse will go down in American history alongside that brave unknown patriot at Lexington Green who fired ‘The Shot Heard Round the World’ on April 19, 1775.” Pierce wrote in a since-deleted tweet on Tuesday. “A Second American Revolution against Tyranny has begun.”
The night before his first court appearance in September, Rittenhouse’s mother and Pierce got a standing ovation at a meeting of Waukesha County, Wisconsin, Republicans when introduced by conservative commentator Michelle Malkin.
On September 1, President Trump went to Kenosha to escalate his law-and-order campaign and openly supported Rittenhouse, saying he acted in self-defense.