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World News

Teenager charged with killing two in Kenosha faces extradition hearing

(Reuters) - Kyle Rittenhouse, the teenager charged with killing two people and injuring another during demonstrations on the streets of Kenosha, Wisconsin, faces a court hearing on Friday about his possible extradition from Illinois.

FILE PHOTO: A view of the Antioch Police Department in the hometown of suspect Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, who was arrested on a warrant and charged with first-degree intentional homicide, following the Kenosha, Wisconsin shooting of protesters, in nearby Antioch, Illinois, U.S. August 26, 2020. REUTERS/Stephen Maturen/File Photo

Rittenhouse, 17, has been charged by Kenosha County’s district attorney with six crimes for shooting three protesters who tried to subdue or disarm him during protests on Aug. 25, killing 36-year-old Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber, 26.

The teenager had travelled to Kenosha that night from his home in nearby Antioch, Illinois, in a self-appointed role to protect the streets of Kenosha, where the police shooting of Jacob Blake had sparked unrest.

Prosecutors are seeking his extradition to Kenosha.

The status hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. CDT (10 a.m. EDT) in Lake County, Illinois. It was not clear whether Rittenhouse would appear in person or by video link.

Rittenhouse’s lawyers could waive extradition or challenge it at the hearing. His attorneys did not respond to requests for comment on their strategy.

They have said that Rittenhouse feared for his life when he fired his semi-automatic rifle and was acting in self-defense. Cellphone videos from the night show chaotic scenes, including one where Rittenhouse is chased and falls down before his encounter with Huber and another man, Gaige Grosskreutz.

Huber appeared to hit Rittenhouse in the shoulder with a skateboard and tried to grab his rifle before being shot, according to the criminal complaint. Rittenhouse then pointed the rifle at Grosskreutz, who had a hand gun. Grosskreutz was shot but survived.

Rittenhouse’s lawyers have also sought to portray the case as a referendum on the right to bear arms following a summer of sometimes violent protests in major U.S. cities.

“A 17-year-old American citizen is being sacrificed by politicians, but it’s not Kyle Rittenhouse they are after,” the narrator says in a video released this week by a group tied to his legal team. “Their end game is to strip away the constitutional right of all citizens to defend our communities.”

Reporting by Nathan Layne in Wilton, Connecticut; Editing by Leslie Adler

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