By BILL HUTCHINSON and JAMES HILL, ABC News
(KENOSHA, Wis.) — A court commissioner ordered 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse on Thursday to stand trial on homicide charges stemming from a shooting in August that left two men dead and third wounded during a protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Kenosha County Court Commissioner Loren Keating ruled there was enough evidence to warrant a trial.
Keating also rejected motions filed by Rittenhouse’s lawyer, Mark Richards, to dismiss a charge of possession of a firearm by a minor and one of two reckless endangerment charges.
Rittenhouse, who was released from custody last month on $2 million bail backed by “Silver Spoons” actor Ricky Schroder, appeared at the hearing via Zoom while seated at his lawyer’s office. He wore a face mask throughout the proceeding except for a brief moment when he removed it in order for Richards to identify him for the court.
The teenager did not enter a plea or say anything during the hearing.
Rittenhouse is to be tried on multiple counts, including first-degree intentional homicide in the death of Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, first-degree reckless homicide in the death of Anthony Huber, 26, and attempted first-degree intentional homicide in a shooting that left 22-year-old Gaige Grosskreutz wounded.
During the hearing, Richards attempted to make the case that Rittenhouse was acting in lawful self-defense in each instance, but Keating ruled such an argument should be made at trial and not a preliminary hearing.
Rittenhouse is scheduled to be arraigned on Jan. 5 in Kenosha County Circuit Court.
Kenosha County Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger called one witness to testify, Kenosha Police Detective Benjamin Antaramian.
Under direct examination, Antaramian testified that an investigation determined that Rittenhouse shot all three men with an AR-15 rifle during an Aug. 25 protest over a police shooting in Kenosha that left Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, paralyzed.
Antaramian said the shootings were all captured on numerous videos that he reviewed to determine that Rittenhouse was the person allegedly responsible for the shootings.
Rittenhouse’s attorneys said the teenager traveled to Kenosha, about 21 miles from his hometown of Antioch, Illinois, on the day of the shooting to answer “his patriotic and civil duty to serve” the city “during a destructive insurrection.”
Rosenbaum allegedly followed Rittenhouse into a used car lot and confronted him in an attempt to disarm him before he was shot dead, according to a criminal complaint.
After allegedly shooting Rosenbaum, Rittenhouse was chased by protesters and fell, according to the criminal complaint. At that point, Huber tried to pull Rittenhouse’s gun away when he was allegedly shot and killed, according to the complaint.
Grosskreutz allegedly moved toward Rittenhouse after putting his hands in the air and appeared “to be holding a handgun in his right hand when he was shot,” the complaint said.
During his cross-examination of Antaramian, defense attorney Richards presented as exhibits about a dozen still-frames from video which appear to show Rittenhouse being chased, kicked, struck with a skateboard, and having a gun pointed at him while he was on the ground.
Richard asked Keating not to bind the case over for trial, reiterating that the evidence shows Rittenhouse used deadly force to defend himself.
“The government can go off on their chaotic quest. But the evidence is clear,” Richards said prior to Keating’s ruling.
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.