Attorneys for accused Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse argued that extraditing him to Wisconsin to face murder charges would “turn him over to the mob” and endanger his life, The Wisconsin State Journal reported.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Rittenhouse, 17, is accused of killing two people and wounding a third on the night of August 25 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. At the time, the city was engulfed in protests following the death of Jacob Blake, a Black man who was shot by police.
Rittenhouse was allegedly among a group of counter-protesters, some of whom showed up in the city armed. The Illinois teen allegedly turned up with an AR-15 assault rifle; following a sequence of events, the truth of which remains in dispute, two people were dead and a third severely injured, Rittenhouse allegedly having shot them.
Rittenhouse was arrested the next day in his home town of Antioch, Illinois, and has remained incarcerated there ever since, as his legal team has fought his extradition to Wisconsin.
In court filings made late on Thursday night, the teen’s legal team argued that extraditing him to Wisconsin would violate his civil rights, as doing so would “turn him over to the mob.”
Further, they claimed that the teenager was acting in self-defense, and that the high-profile nature of this case has put a target on their client’s back.
“The premature and unsupported charges are contributing to unwarranted public condemnation. Rittenhouse has been publicly branded a ‘mass murderer,’ a ‘terrorist,’ a ‘racist,’ and more,” his lawyers wrote.
At a hearing on Friday, attorney John Pierce argued that his client was being prosecuted not for alleged criminal activity, but because of politics, The Chicago Sun-Times reported.
“There are serious issues with the extradition paperwork that in fact bolster the suggestion that this is a political prosecution. These papers were sent directly to the governor without us even getting a chance to look at them in the first instance without any notice,” Pierce said of extradition paperwork that Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed off on.
Ordinarily, extradition of a suspect between two states is a routine matter that is handled with little-to-no controversy. However, legal experts told the Chicago newspaper that it’s unlikely Rittenhouse’s team will be able to ultimately prevent him from being sent to Wisconsin to face charges there.
For now, it looks like Rittenhouse will remain in Illinois for the time being. The presiding judge over the hearing, Lake County Judge Paul Novak, scheduled another hearing on the issue for October 30.