KENOSHA — Prosecutors are urging the Kenosha County Court to issue a warrant for Kyle Rittenhouse's arrest and hike his bond by $200,000 after they allege the 18-year-old violated his bond agreement by not informing the court when he moved from his listed home address.
Rittenhouse, who was charged with homicide for shooting and killing two people and injuring a third during protests in Kenosha last summer, paid a $2 million bail for his release from jail last November. The bond was paid through donations from supporters.
But the Kenosha County District Attorney's Office argued in a motion filed Wednesday that Rittenhouse has violated the conditions of his current bond by failing to update his address with the court in time, thus preventing the court from monitoring his whereabouts.
Rittenhouse's defense attorney, Mark Richards, wrote in a motion in objection to the bond increase Wednesday evening that Rittenhouse and his family have received a number of death threats in relation to the Kenosha shooting. That led the family to move to an undisclosed "safe house" not listed in the bond agreement.
The former defense attorney for Rittenhouse, John M. Pierce, paid Rittenhouse's cash bond at the Kenosha County Public Safety Building last November. Pierce says in an attached affidavit that he was told by a Kenosha police captain to not provide Rittenhouse's current address in the bond agreement due to the reported death threats. Ten days later, an assistant district attorney declined Rittenhouse's attorneys' request to have his current address placed under seal, hidden from the public, according to Richards' motion. Richards said the defense team stands by that request.
Prosecutors state in their motion that Rittenhouse's initial bond listed his address in Antioch, Illinois, and required him to give written notice to the court within 48 hours of any change of address or telephone number.
But it appears Rittenhouse no longer lives there, prosecutors allege, after a notice from the court sent to that address was returned as unclaimed, on Jan. 28. Kenosha police detectives visited the address and spoke with a resident there, who told them he has resided at the house as a renter since Dec. 14. The man said that Rittenhouse no longer lived there, according to prosecutors.
Rittenhouse failed to provide the court with a new address, prosecutors state.
They continue that Rittenhouse's family did not use any of their own money in Rittenhouse's bond payment, leaving Rittenhouse "free from custody with minimal incentive to comply with his bond conditions."
The prosecutors allege Rittenhouse has already shown a "carefree attitude" after flashing the 'OK' symbol appropriated by white supremacists with members of the far-right Proud Boys group in a Racine County bar last month.
"In a criminal case as serious as this one, it is critically important that the Court be able to monitor the defendant’s whereabouts at all times," the prosecutors argue. They note that rarely does one charged with homicide post cash bond and get released from custody pending a trial.
Thus prosecutors ask the Kenosha County Court for a warrant of Rittenhouse's arrest and the increase of his bond by $200,000.
Rittenhouse was charged with first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless homicide, attempted first-degree intentional homicide and two counts of first-degree recklessly endangering safety in the fatal shooting of Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber. Gaige Grosskreutz was also injured in the shooting.
If convicted, Rittenhouse could spend the rest of his life behind bars.
Rittenhouse and his attorneys claim that the then 17-year-old was acting in self-defense. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.