The Slatest

Where Is Accused Kenosha Shooter Kyle Rittenhouse?

Kyle Rittenhouse, wearing a dress shirt, tie, and mask, sits during a court hearing.
Kyle Rittenhouse during a court hearing in October. Nam Y. Huh/Pool via Reuters/File Photo

Prosecutors in Kenosha, Wisconsin, filed a motion Wednesday seeking a new arrest warrant for Kyle Rittenhouse, the 18-year-old who is charged with fatally shooting two people during protests last summer. Prosecutors say the teenager facing murder charges moved without notifying authorities. One of the conditions of Rittenhouse’s $2 million bond, allowing for his pretrial release, is that he report to the court any change in address or phone number within 48 hours of the change. Rittenhouse, who drove from his home in Illinois to Kenosha in August*, is awaiting trial on murder charges for the deaths of two people who were protesting the police shooting of Jacob Blake. Rittenhouse’s lawyer said in a motion that the teenager had moved to an undisclosed “safe house” due to unspecified death threats. The Kenosha County District Attorney’s Office is asking the court to rearrest Rittenhouse and increase his bail by another $200,000.

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The impunity with which Rittenhouse has acted while waiting to be tried for murder is galling and, predictably, has made him a cause célèbre on the far right. Since being released, the teenager has been photographed drinking with members of the far-right Proud Boys, a white nationalist group that this week was declared a terrorist organization in Canada. Rittenhouse has flouted the terms of his release, which was enabled by a far-right internet fundraising campaign that cobbled together millions to post the bond. The funding for his release, in which the Rittenhouse family has no financial stake, creates “minimal incentive to comply with his bond conditions,” prosecutors say. That, coupled with the long length of the punishment for his alleged crime, makes it hard to impose any smaller sanction to ensure pretrial compliance. Prosecutors also said a defendant on trial for first-degree murder being granted pretrial release is almost unheard of. “Rarely does our community see accused murderers roaming about freely,” the prosecutors state in their motion.

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Lawyers for Rittenhouse say they were told by police to withhold their whereabouts despite court orders to ensure the alleged murderers safety. Prosecutors told the court that Rittenhouse’s whereabouts were currently unknown after a recent notice could not be delivered to his court-listed address in Antioch, Illinois. When police attempted to deliver the notice, a new occupant of the house said he had been there since mid-December. Rittenhouse is facing charges of first-degree intentional homicide and first-degree reckless homicide, among others, for the August shooting deaths of Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26.

*This post has been updated to clarify that Rittenhouse drove from his home in Antioch, Illinois to Kenosha, Wisconsin, during the August protests, but was not believed to be armed when he crossed the state line.

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