On Wednesday, Kenosha County Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger and the defense for Kyle Rittenhouse—the fascist youth charged with killing two anti-police violence protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin last August—agreed to postpone the teenager’s murder trial for seven months.
In a four-minute virtual appearance before Kenosha County Circuit Court Judge Bruce Schroeder, Rittenhouse’s lawyer Mark Richards agreed with DA Binger that more time was needed to prepare the trial originally scheduled to begin on March 29.
Binger told Judge Schroeder that he was recommending a trial date in the fall with a status update in two months. Binger said, “There are a number of outstanding issues in discovery, some DNA testing and some other issues that need to be taken care of. There are also some logistics with regard to the eventual jury that will need to be hammered out. ... Attorney Richards and I have discussed the option of setting a trial date sometime in the fall and trying to see if we can work towards that.”
Richards then replied that he supported moving the trial to fall although he was also “interested in moving this matter forward.” Judge Schroeder said that the extension request was unusual in that it would mean that more than a year would elapse since Rittenhouse had been arraigned. The judge asked Rittenhouse—who has been out on $2 million bond since November 20—if he had a problem with the extension and the defendant said he did not.
Judge Schroeder then set the final pretrial hearing for May 17 and a trial date of November 1 and concluded the hearing.
The requested postponement of the Rittenhouse trial is an indication that the prosecutor is preparing for a courtroom battle with the well-financed and politically connected legal representatives of the shooter who was openly supported by then-President Donald Trump on the grounds that the teenager acted in “self-defense.”
Rittenhouse‚ who was 17 years old at the time of the shooting‚ was charged with five felonies for killing two men—Joseph Rosenbaum (36) and Anthony Huber (26)—and wounding Gaige Grosskreutz on August 25. The shooter, who pleaded not guilty to all charges in January, traveled 30 miles from his hometown of Antioch, Illinois to join an armed militia that volunteered to “protect property” during the protests that followed the Kenosha police shooting of Jacob Blake, an unarmed 29-year-old black man, two days earlier.
Remarkably, even though Rittenhouse fired his AR-15-style assault rifle numerous times that evening with deadly impact, he was permitted to walk through police lines, return to his vehicle and drive back to his hometown without interruption.
The shooter turned himself in to Antioch police the next morning where he was detained pending his extradition to Kenosha to face felony charges, including first degree intentional homicide in the death of Rosenbaum and first degree reckless homicide in the death of Huber.
Numerous smartphone videos captured by bystanders showed the unfolding of Rittenhouse’s confrontation with protesters and some of these streams—along with eyewitness interviews—became the basis for the charges against him.
The teenage shooter was immediately hailed as a hero by the far-right and fascist elements supporting Trump. After he was extradited against the objections of his attorney, Rittenhouse was able to post $2 million bond raised in a campaign launched by Fight Back, an organization founded by L. Lin Wood, the fascist attorney from Atlanta who has represented Trump.
While out on bail, Rittenhouse and his mother have been celebrated by the Republican Party, and, following his not guilty pleas, the shooter has been seen in public flashing “white power” hand gestures and singing the anthem of the fascist Proud Boys with supporters of the organization.
A motion filed by DA Binger to increase Rittenhouse’s bond and to have him rearrested for violating the terms of his bail agreement was struck down by Judge Schroeder on February 11. In an extraordinary alignment of the judge with the far-right supporters of Rittenhouse, DA Binger was denied access to the address where Rittenhouse has been residing since his release, a standard procedure in murder cases where the defendant is out on bond.
In attendance at the March 10 hearing in addition to Judge Schroeder, DA Binger, Rittenhouse and his attorney Richard was Kimberly Motley, attorney for the families of Rosenbaum and Huber and shooting victim Grosskreutz. Motley told Urban Milwaukee of Rittenhouse, “His behavior has not been appropriate, and it will be interesting to see how this trial will move forward.”
GQ Magazine published a major feature about the Kenosha shooter on Wednesday that provides details about the background of the now 18-year-old Rittenhouse. GQ reporter Doug Bock Clark writes that Rittenhouse idolized the police from an early age and he “enrolled in a cadet program, which offered ﬁrearms training and the chance to ride along in patrol cars.” Rittenhouse and his mother “made frequent use of the so-called thin blue line ﬂag—a black-and-white version of the American ﬂag, with a single blue stripe.”
The report goes on, “When he was nine years old, his mother shared a picture on Facebook of her boy wielding an AR-15-style assault riﬂe, the mass-market military-inspired weapon Americans have snapped up by the millions—sometimes for as little as a few hundred dollars from big-box retailers. In the photo, he stands in a muddy yard, the weapon comically large in his stubby arms, its magazine well empty. He smiles with cherubic cheekiness while one ﬁnger pokes at the trigger.”
Clark describes Rittenhouse as coming from an unstable upbringing in a family beset by financial problems and numerous evictions and writing that he “attended some high school but seems to have left without ﬁnishing ninth grade.” He was known by classmates as a supporter of Donald Trump. “A video posted to Rittenhouse’s TikTok account showed him ﬁring the riﬂe in a wooded area while a rap song played. The social media account carried the subtitles ‘Bruh I’m just tryna be famous,’ ‘Trump 2020,’ and ‘BLUE LIVES MATTER.’”
These details clearly expose as false the presentation of Rittenhouse by his supporters as a blue-collar high school kid who volunteered to clean graffiti off buildings and brought a first aid kit to Kenosha to simply “help people.”
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