A Wisconsin judge on Thursday ruled that a teenager accused of murdering two people at an anti-police protest did not violate the terms of his bond by concealing his address from the court. Demands by a prosecutor to increase the bond of Kyle Rittenhouse and issue a warrant for his arrest were denied by Kenosha County Circuit Court Judge Bruce E. Schroeder at the hearing.
“I’m gonna deny the motions,” Schroeder said, saying he didn’t think it would be lawful.
Rittenhouse, 18, has been presumably living back in his native Illinois. But his exact location was unclear after a court notice sent to the address on file was returned by new residents at that location. He had been using a PO Box, instead. The terms of his bond mandated he reside at the address with which he provided the court.
Schroeder, in turn, ruled that Rittenhouse must disclose his current address to every local law enforcement agency involved except for the Kenosha Assistant District Attorney’s office.
Kenosha Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger called that ruling unacceptable and said it ran counter to legal precedent, but Schroeder had already ended the hearing by that point.
Rittenhouse is facing more than 200 years in prison for his alleged crimes.
Binger was asking for Rittenhouse’s bond to be increased by $200,000, the teenager’s passport should be surrendered and electronic monitoring, all of which is customary for murder cases, he said.
“We don’t know where an accused murderer is at,” Binger said. “I think that’s a problem. I’m not OK with that.”
But Schroeder said Rittenhouse did not commit a serious crime when violating the terms of his bond that the teenager agreed to and has been present at every court appearance and abided by all other conditions imposed upon him.
During the hearing, relatives of the people Rittenhouse killed pleaded for the judge to increase bail and issue a new warrant for his arrest.
Huber’s father said Rittenhouse thought he was above the law and is enjoying the attention from the white supremacists and militia members he’s been seen with, including a viral video showing the teenager drinking at a bar with them. Huber’s father said allowing Rittenhouse to avoid punishment for his admitted bond violation could only embolden him to go into hiding.
“He has nothing to lose if he runs,” Huber’s father said. “He should be remanded to custody. We don’t know where he is. No one in that court knows where he lives.”
Saying Rittenhouse’s bond should be increased to $4 million, Huber’s father appealed to the judge some more.
“We lost a son,” Huber’s father said. “How would you feel if the killer of your son is able to walk free and make videos in bars and live it up with his white supremacist friends?”
Speaking directly to Rittenhouse, Huber’s father said, “Justice is going to be served to you!”
Rittenhouse’s lawyer said he would provide the court and local sheriff’s office with the current address.
Rittenhouse was arrested in August for the killings and was charged with first-degree intentional homicide. Rittenhouse’s social media accounts show that he’s pro-Donald Trump and pro-police with various posts about “Blue Lives Matter“.
He is the gunman behind a deadly shooting spree during a protest over Jacob Blake‘s killing in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and was seen in the front row of a Trump rally last year. The apparently pro-police 17-year-old who was initially linked to law enforcement through social media reports attended a rally for the former president in Iowa in January 2020, as shown by a video apparently recorded by Rittenhouse himself from an intimate vantage point and posted to his TikTok account.
The video was simply accompanied by two words: “Trump rally!”
The fatal victims from Rittenhouse’s shooting are Anthony Huber and Joseph “Jojo” Rosenbaum, two white men from Wisconsin.
During the Jacob Blake protests in Kenosha, Rittenhouse acted as an armed vigilante, walking the streets with a gun. Videos have also captured him fraternizing with the cops and attempting to get their attention.
Rittenhouse armed himself with an AR-15 and drove across state lines from his native Illinois ready to use his assault rifle in Kenosha.
To add insult to literal injury, there was also unverified video footage on social media purporting to show “the Kenosha shooter being offered water from the Kenosha police” and claiming “The police is working with the shooting militia.”
The violence took place during the third-straight night of protests following Kenosha police shooting Jacob Blake, a Black man, in the back multiple times as he attempted to enter his own car.
This is a developing story that will be updated.