A Wisconsin judge set a $2 million bond for Kyle Rittenhouse, an Illinois teenager accused of killing two protesters and wounding a third at demonstrations in Kenosha after the police shooting of Jacob Blake.
The 17-year-old was arrested at his home in Antioch, Illinois, a day after the Aug. 25 shootings. Two men, Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, were fatally shot and a third man, Gaige Grosskreutz, was injured.
Rittenhouse appeared in a Kenosha County court Monday via video after he was extradited to Wisconsin on Friday. He faces two felony homicide charges in addition to charges of felony attempted homicide, possession of a dangerous weapon while under the age of 18, and reckless endangerment, court records show.
Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger asked Court Commissioner Loren Keating to set the bond at $2 million due of the severity of the charges and because the court believes Rittenhouse is a flight risk.
“There is a certainty that if the defendant is convicted, he will be sent to prison and a strong likelihood that he will serve most, if not the remainder of his life, in prison if he is convicted of these charges,” Binger said during a video of the hearing. “A substantial amount of cash bail is necessary because someone who’s facing these types of charges has the strongest possible incentive not to return to court.”
Binger also noted that Rittenhouse is not from Wisconsin and that his attorneys fought extradition.
“I take that all to mean that the defendant doesn’t want to be here and if released, won’t come back,” the district attorney said.
The killings happened amid protests sparked by a video posted online of the police shooting of Blake, a Black man. Three responding officers have been placed on administrative leave, and a Wisconsin Department of Justice investigation into the shooting is ongoing.
According to prosecutors and court documents, Rittenhouse was armed with a rifle at the protests and shot and killed Rosenbaum after Rosenbaum threw a plastic bag at Rittenhouse, missing him, and then tried to wrestle his weapon away.
While trying to get away in the immediate aftermath, Rittenhouse was heard on cellphone video saying, “I just killed somebody.” According to a criminal complaint filed by prosecutors, someone in the crowd yelled, “Beat him up!” and another yelled, “Get him.”
Video of the chaotic scene shows that Rittenhouse tripped in the street and Huber hit him with a skateboard and tried to take his rifle away. Rittenhouse opened fire, killing Huber and wounding Grosskreutz.
Rittenhouse’s attorney Mark Richards said during Monday’s hearing that his client acted in self-defense and was attacked. He asked for the bond to be set at $750,000, noting that Rittenhouse tried to turn himself in after the shooting but police did not arrest him.
Before Keating announced the bond amount, he allowed Huber’s father, John Huber, to speak.
“Kyle Rittenhouse thinks he’s above the law,” Huber said. “He’s been treated as much by law enforcement. He believes he’s justified in this case. For him to run wouldn’t surprise me.”
Huber called his son a “hero” and said he was trying to stop Rittenhouse “and lost his life protecting other people.” Huber asked the judge to double the bond.
“My son was killed. Another man was killed. They didn’t deserve to be killed,” he said.
Kimberley Motley, an attorney for Grosskreutz, called Rittenhouse a “significant danger to the public.”
Rittenhouse is due back in court for a preliminary hearing on Dec. 3.