Bail for Kyle Rittenhouse Set at $2 Million in Kenosha Protest Shooting

Categories: The New York Times

The father of one of the men who died in the shooting said Mr. Rittenhouse was a flight risk, and “thinks he’s above the law.”

By Mark Guarino

CHICAGO — Bail for Kyle Rittenhouse, an Illinois teenager accused of killing two men during protests over a police shooting in Kenosha, Wis., was set at $2 million on Monday as Mr. Rittenhouse made a first appearance in a Wisconsin court.

The father of one of the men who died urged the court not to allow Mr. Rittenhouse’s release, warning that he is a flight risk. “Kyle Rittenhouse thinks he’s above the law and he’s been treated as such by law enforcement,” said John Huber, the father of Anthony M. Huber, who was killed in the shooting.

Mr. Rittenhouse has become a cause célèbre for conservatives who insist he acted in self-defense, and donations have poured into a legal defense fund on his behalf. Even President Trump suggested shortly after the shooting that Mr. Rittenhouse’s actions were legitimate. “He was trying to get away from them, I guess, it looks like,” Mr. Trump said in a news conference in August.

Mr. Rittenhouse, 17, has been charged with six criminal counts, including first-degree intentional homicide, for the shooting on Aug. 25 that left two protesters dead and a third injured. The shooting occurred after a clash between demonstrators, who were protesting a white police officer’s shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black Kenosha resident, and armed civilians with guns who said they had come to downtown Kenosha to protect businesses and private property after two nights of fires, looting and destruction.

The hearing on Monday afternoon came as Mr. Trump was scheduled to hold a rally at the Kenosha Regional Airport on the final day of campaigning before Tuesday’s election. A protest against Mr. Trump’s appearance is set for Monday evening outside the Kenosha County courthouse, where protesters had demonstrated in August.

Mr. Rittenhouse spent nearly two months without bail in an Illinois detention center while his lawyers fought to prevent him from being returned to Wisconsin to face the criminal charges.

According to records filed as part of Mr. Rittenhouse’s arrest, he turned himself in to the police in Illinois, near his home, the day after the shooting. Mr. Rittenhouse was accompanied by his mother, the records show, and was crying at points.

“I shot two white kids,” he told the police, according to the records. Mr. Rittenhouse also told the police he had been “hired to protect businesses in Kenosha during the riots and had to protect himself,” the report said.

Sam Olejcik, the owner of an auto repair business near where the initial shooting took place, has said he did not hire Mr. Rittenhouse to protect his business.

Mr. Rittenhouse remained in custody on Monday afternoon, as bail had not been posted. If he were to be released, the court commissioner overseeing the hearing ordered Mr. Rittenhouse not to have contact with families of the men who were shot or to possess a weapon.

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