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17-year-old challenges extradition to Wisconsin over Kenosha shooting charges

17-year-old challenges extradition to Wisconsin over Kenosha shooting charges
© Screenshot/TMJ4 News

The teenager charged in the shooting deaths of two protesters in Kenosha, Wis., this summer is challenging his extradition from Illinois.

Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, surrendered to law enforcement in his hometown of Antioch, Ill., a day after prosecutors say he shot and killed two protesters and wounded a third in Kenosha on Aug. 25.

Lawyers claim Rittenhouse was acting in self defense when he fired on the three people amid protests over the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man who was shot during an arrest in the city.

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Rittenhouse is charged with first-degree intentional homicide in the killing of two protesters and attempted intentional homicide in the wounding of a third.

He also faces a misdemeanor charge of underage firearm possession for wielding a semi-automatic rifle. If convicted for his most serious charges, he could face up to life in prison.

John Pierce, an attorney for Rittenhouse, asked a judge Friday to give him a month to prepare arguments challenging the teenager's extradition to Wisconsin to face the charges, The Associated Press reported.

The lawyer said the request involves "issues of some complexity, frankly that have not arisen in the country for some time."

Judge Paul Novak allowed the defense 14 days to review papers and file pleadings over Rittenhouse's planned Oct. 9 hearing.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) signed a warrant to extradite Rittenhouse to Wisconsin at Gov. Tony EversTony EversWisconsin police still searching for mall shooting suspect The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - Trump, Biden clash over transition holdup, pandemic plans Stocks close with losses as states, cities reimpose COVID-19 restrictions MORE's (D) request, Lake County state's attorney Mike Nerheim said Friday, according to the AP.

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Nerheim said that in his 20 years of work he had never seen anyone fight extradition after a governor signed a warrant.

David Erickson, a former state appellate judge and professor at Chicago Kent College of Law, told the AP that when challenges to such an order do occur they likely make the argument that either a crime was not committed in the other state or the defendant is not the person who carried out the crime.

Other experts noted that the move could give the defense more time to gather evidence or attempt to force prosecutors to provide additional material to back their extradition request.

While Rittenhouse's attorneys have argued that the teenager acted in self-defense the night of Aug. 25, critics have assailed him as a domestic terrorist, asserting that his presence carrying a weapon led to unnecessary violence and danger.

Some vocal supporters of the teenager have backed his legal defense with fundraisers and donations ahead of his October hearing.