Teen charged in Kenosha shootings to stay in Lake County as attorneys challenge his detention

  • Kyle Rittenhouse, left with backward cap, walks along Sheridan Road in Kenosha on Aug. 25, the night authorities say he shot two protesters to death and injured a third.

    Kyle Rittenhouse, left with backward cap, walks along Sheridan Road in Kenosha on Aug. 25, the night authorities say he shot two protesters to death and injured a third. Courtesy of Adam Rogan/The Journal Times via AP

Updated 9/25/2020 6:47 PM

An Antioch teen will stay in juvenile detention in Lake County while his attorneys file a petition challenging his detention.

Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, is charged with first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless homicide, attempted first-degree intentional homicide and other charges stemming from Aug. 25 shootings in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in the wake of the police shooting of Jacob Blake, 29, two days earlier.


During a brief hearing Friday before Lake County Judge Paul Novak, defense attorney John Pierce indicated he intends to file a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of Rittenhouse. The habeas corpus writ is used to determine whether an individual is being lawfully detained.

Rittenhouse's attorneys are arguing the teen acted in self-defense.

If convicted of the most serious charge, Rittenhouse could spend the rest of his life in prison.

Citing "issues of some complexity that have not arisen in the country for some time," Pierce asked for time to file the petition. Novak set a filing deadline of 5 p.m. Oct. 8 followed by a hearing on Oct. 9, at which time the judge indicated he will set a date for an extradition hearing.

That means Rittenhouse, who attended Lakes Community High School in Lake Villa for one semester during the 2017-2018 school year, will remain at the Minard E. Hulse Juvenile Detention Center near Vernon Hills where he is being held without bail. He appeared in court via Zoom wearing a black shirt and a face covering.

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According to Lake County State's Attorney Mike Nerheim, extradition challenges are rare.

"In 20 years I haven't seen one where somebody challenges extradition, especially once the governor's warrant has been issued," Nerheim said.

According to the criminal complaint, Rittenhouse shot and killed Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber. Court records indicate Rittenhouse then wounded a third man, Gaige Grosskreutz.

Defense attorneys say Rittenhouse had taken up his weapon to stand outside two mechanic shops in Kenosha. They say Rittenhouse heard a gunshot somewhere near him and killed Rosenbaum as he was moving toward him.

Video shows Rittenhouse then falling to the ground and shooting the other two men as they and others ran toward him, with one person striking him and others calling to "get that dude" because he'd shot someone.


On Friday, a handful of protesters gathered outside the Waukegan courthouse. Among them was Clyde McLemore, the Zion man who founded the Lake County chapter of Black Lives Matter. McLemore expressed disappointment that Rittenhouse remains in Illinois.

"I think he needs to hurry up, get back over to Wisconsin so these charges could be faced," said McLemore, who intends to be in Kenosha when the trial starts.

McLemore, who led a protest in Kenosha hours before the shootings in which Rittenhouse is charged, said he spoke with Rittenhouse that day.

"I asked Kyle to come protest with us as he was standing there with his AR-15," McLemore said. "He said, 'No, I'm here protecting buildings.' I asked him if he'd rather protect brick and mortar over human life and he said 'yes,' and we got into a confrontation," which McLemore said was verbal.

McLemore said Huber assisted him during the protest only hours before Huber was killed. McLemore said Huber rode nearby on his skateboard to make sure McLemore was safe during the march.

Rittenhouse turned himself in to Antioch police on Aug. 26.

• ABC 7 News contributed to this report

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