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Trial for Kyle Rittenhouse, charged with killing two in Kenosha, delayed until November

Attorney Mark Richards, left, with Kyle Rittenhouse, speaks during an arrest hearing in Kenosha County Court in Kenosha, Wis., on Feb. 11. (Kenosha County Court/AP)

The trial for Kyle Rittenhouse, the man charged with fatally shooting two people and maiming a third in Kenosha, Wis., last summer, was pushed back seven months, a judge ruled Wednesday. Originally set for March 29, the trial is now set to start Nov. 1.

Rittenhouse, who turned 18 late last year, is charged with first-degree intentional homicide and first-degree reckless homicide in the deaths of Anthony Huber and Joseph Rosenbaum. He is also charged with attempted first-degree homicide for shooting and injuring Gaige Grosskreutz.

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Additional charges include possession of a dangerous weapon while under the age of 18, and reckless endangerment.

Kenosha County District Attorney Thomas Binger said both his office and Rittenhouse attorney Mark Richards would not be prepared to start the trial at the earlier date.

Delaying the trial “will put us in a better position to know whether or not we’ll be ready … it will also give us time to make sure witnesses will be available and all attorneys will be available,” Binger said.

Kenosha County Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder granted the status hearing and the new trial date.

“This case is getting older, but we’ll probably get a year from the time you were charged plus … it’s the day you were arraigned,” he told Rittenhouse, who attended the virtual hearing via Zoom. “Do you have any problem with the extension?”

Rittenhouse replied he did not.

In a previous hearing, Richards argued that Rittenhouse was under threat by a series of people who pursued him by foot that night, including the three people he shot with a AR-15 he purchased earlier that year. They include a person caught on video that Richards called “jump kick man” who he said struck Rittenhouse to the ground. The man has never been identified.

Binger rejected that argument and in the past characterized Rittenhouse, who was 17 at the time, as reckless and said he was “hunting humans.” Rittenhouse obtained the weapon through a friend, Dominick Black, who purchased it for him in May and stored it in his stepfather’s house.

Black is charged with two counts of intent for selling a dangerous weapon to a person under 18. Rittenhouse, who lived in Illinois, could not buy the gun because possession in Illinois is prohibited for people younger than 21 unless they get written consent from a parent or legal guardian.

Rittenhouse was released from jail in late November after posting a $2 million bond, raised primarily by far right groups. He is currently residing in an undisclosed location with his family.

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