(Reuters) – The teenager accused of fatally shooting two protesters and wounding a third will face an Oct. 30 hearing on his possible extradition to Wisconsin, where the protests about race and justice took place, an Illinois judge ruled on Friday.
Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, had traveled on Aug. 25 from his home in nearby Antioch, Illinois, in a self-appointed role to protect the streets of Kenosha, Wisconsin, where the police shooting of Jacob Blake had sparked large protests.
Paul Novak, a judge in Lake County where Rittenhouse is being held, gave prosecutors a week to respond to a challenge by Rittenhouse’s lawyers to his detention and scheduled the extradition hearing for the last Friday of this month.
“The law is pretty clear cut on this. This case has been dragging on now – we are already in October,” Lake County Assistant State’s Attorney Stephen Scheller told a hearing on Friday. “We can have a response in three days and we want a hearing as soon as possible.”
In a filing on Thursday, defense attorney John Pierce alleged technical errors in the paperwork behind Rittenhouse’s detention, portrayed his client as a patriot who acted in self-defense, and said extraditing him to Wisconsin would “be to turn him over to the mob.”
In the filing, Pierce accused Democratic candidate Joe Biden, the challenger to President Donald Trump in a November election, of having incorrectly painted the teenager as a white supremacist in a video he posted.
“There is a presidential candidate in the heat of arguably the most heated election, perhaps ever, certainly since 1860, that has inflamed the situation,” Pierce said at the hearing on Friday. “There is no reason to rush. There is danger to this detainee.”
Kenosha County’s district attorney has charged Rittenhouse with six criminal counts in connection with his shooting of three people who tried to subdue or disarm him on that night, two of whom died.
(Reporting by Nathan Layne in Wilton, Connecticut; Editing by Howard Goller)