Court Battles

Wisconsin judge approves agreement to destroy Rittenhouse rifle

An agreement to destroy the rifle Kyle Rittenhouse used to fatally shoot two people and wound a third during a 2020 demonstration was approved by a Wisconsin judge on Friday, The Associated Press reported

Rittenhouse was acquitted on all five charges he faced in connection with the shooting, including intentional homicide, in November.

Kenosha County Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger said that the firearm would likely be destroyed near the end of April by a state crime lab, CNN reported.

“The destruction will be recorded and we’ll provide that to the defense at that time,” the prosecutor said, according to the network. “The state crime lab has machinery to destroy them. That will happen probably towards the end of April.”

Binger had noted Friday that the agreement had been made between prosecutors, Rittenhouse’s defense and the person who originally purchased the firearm for Rittenhouse, Dominick Black.

“The parties — the defense, the state, and also Dominick Black, who purchased that firearm — have all signed off on a stipulation whereby the Kenosha Police Department and Joint Services will destroy that firearm, as well as the magazine, and the scope,” Binger said, according to CNN. “It will not be in anyone’s possession.”

The attorney for Rittenhouse, Mark Richards, told the judge that they approved of the agreement on their end and added that other items that were taken from the teen when he had been arrested had earlier this week been returned to Rittenhouse, CNN reported.

A spokesperson for Rittenhouse, in addition to his attorney, had said that the teen wanted those items, including the rifle, to be destroyed or trashed to avoid the items later being used for political purposes, according to the AP. 

“It is what we wanted. We did not want released & then sold, not seeking to profit,” Richards told The Hill in an email.

The development comes after conservatives cheered Rittenhouse’s acquittal last year, with multiple GOP members of Congress offering the teen an internship.

Rittenhouse faced charges for fatally shooting two protestors and injuring another during a 2020 demonstration in Kenosha, Wis., over the police shooting of a Black man named Jacob Blake, who was left paralyzed after an officer shot him. 

Rittenhouse has maintained that he shot the men in self defense. His defense claimed during the trial that the Illinois resident had been in Wisconsin to protect businesses against looting during the protests.

Civil rights advocates and Democrats slammed the verdict, with NAACP CEO Derrick Johnson calling it a “travesty.”

Court Battles