Rittenhouse lawyer loses bid to drop some charges

A lawyer for Kyle Rittenhouse, the teenager who fatally shot two people during a Black Lives Matter protest in Wisconsin in August, failed Thursday to convince a Kenosha County Court Commissioner to drop two out of the six charges against his client.

Mark Richards argued that the 17-year-old, who says he was acting in self-defense when he killed two protesters and wounded a third, should have the misdemeanor charge of underage firearm possession against him dropped, citing an exception in Wisconsin's law against minors possessing dangerous weapons, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

"We don't allow teens to run around with guns. It's that simple. The statute is clear," Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger said, according to the Journal Sentinel. "This is exactly why we have this law, because teens shouldn't be allowed to run around with dangerous weapons, because bad things happen."

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Richards also attempted to have dropped a charge of recklessly endangering a journalist who was recording near the shooting that fatally injured protester Joseph Rosenbaum. Richards stated that the charges do not describe how the journalist was endangered.

Binger again disagreed, saying the journalist feared he had been caught in Rittenhouse's line of fire after seeing the teen fire off a round and feeling something hit his leg.

Kenosha County Court Commissioner Loren Keating agreed with Binger and denied Richards's motion.

Rittenhouse was released on bail in November and was present at the hearing via Zoom. His charges include first-degree intentional homicide and he could face life in prison.