MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A judge has declined to dismiss a weapons charge against an Illinois man accused of shooting three people during a protest against police brutality in Wisconsin last year.
Prosecutors charged Kyle Rittenhouse with homicide and other crimes, including being a minor in possession of a firearm, after he killed two men and wounded a third during the August 2020 protest in Kenosha.
Rittenhouse was 17 at the time and has said he acted in self-defense.
His attorneys on Tuesday asked Judge Bruce Schroeder to throw out the firearm charge, arguing that it only applies if the minor is carrying a short-barreled rifle.
Rittenhouse used an AR-style semiautomatic rifle.
Schroeder refused to dismiss the charge but said he might reconsider.
John Black, testifying for the defense at the pretrial hearing, said Tuesday that he thinks 18-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse was justified in using deadly force because one of the men he killed tried to grab his gun, the other hit him with a skateboard and grabbed his gun, and a third man whom he wounded had approached him with a handgun.
Rittenhouse, of Antioch, Illinois, faces multiple charges, including homicide. He argues that he fired in self-defense. His trial is set to start Nov. 1.