Kyle Rittenhouse's Lawyer Asks Judge to Dismiss Charge He Was Too Young to Have Gun

Kyle Rittenhouse's attorney filed a motion asking the judge to dismiss the charge Rittenhouse was too young to possess a gun under Wisconsin law, arguing Rittenhouse's assault-style rifle doesn't fall under the definition of the prohibited short-barreled shotguns and rifles.

Mark Richards, Rittenhouse's lawyer, also filed several other arguments, including dismissal of a video from July 2020 that prosecutors filed motions last week asking a judge to allow it as evidence.

Prosecutors said the video shows Rittenhouse hitting a teenage girl in the back on Kenosha's waterfront, but Richards argued the altercation is irrelevant to the case.

Richards has similarly argued against prosecutors claiming Rittenhouse has an affiliation with the Proud Boys, which is a far-right extremist group.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below:

Free Kyle
A man wears a shirt calling for freedom for Kyle Rittenhouse, the man who allegedly shot protesters in Wisconsin, during a U.S. President Donald Trump Campaign Rally. Rittenhouse's lawyer, Mark Richards, filed for the judge to dismiss the charges that Ritterhouse was too young to possess a gun under Wisconsin law. Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images

Rittenhouse's attorney wants a judge to allow him to argue that one of the men his client fatally shot during a Wisconsin protest was a sex offender, saying it supports a defense theory he attacked Rittenhouse and intended to take his gun because he couldn't legally possess one.

Richards maintained in court filings Thursday that Joseph Rosenbaum was convicted of having sex with a minor in Arizona in 2002 and was prohibited from possessing firearms. Rosenbaum started the altercation with Rittenhouse in hopes of making off with his assault-style rifle, which only bolsters Rittenhouse's self-defense argument, Richards wrote.

Kimberley Motley, an attorney representing Rosenbaum's estate, said Tuesday morning she hadn't read the motions yet and had no immediate comment.

Rittenhouse, who is white, traveled to Kenosha from his home in Antioch, Illinois, on Aug. 25 to answer a call from local militia to protect businesses from protesters. The demonstrations began after a white Kenosha police officer shot Jacob Blake, who is Black, during a domestic disturbance, leaving Blake paralyzed from the waist down.

The protests turned chaotic that night. According to prosecutors, Rittenhouse opened fire on Rosenbaum, Anthony Huber and Gaige Grosskreutz. He killed Rosenbaum and Huber. Grosskreutz was hit but survived.

Rittenhouse was 17 years old at the time. Now 18, he maintains he fired in self-defense but prosecutors have charged him with a litany of counts, including reckless homicide, recklessly endangering safety, attempted first-degree intentional homicide and being a minor in possession of a dangerous weapon.

Black Lives Matter supports have painted him as a trigger-happy white supremacist. Conservatives have made him into a symbol for gun rights, generating $2 million for his bail. His trial is scheduled to begin Nov. 1.

Photos taken in January show Rittenhouse drinking in a Mount Pleasant bar and gesturing with what appeared to be a white power symbol. Prosecutors said in their motions they have learned the people Rittenhouse was with included the leader of the Proud Boys' Wisconsin chapter and several of its high-ranking members.

Richards argued there's no indication Rittenhouse knew any of the Proud Boys before that night in the bar or that he has associated with the group. What's more, nothing supports the argument that race was a factor in the shootings, Richards said.

Huber and Grosskreutz were part of a "mob" that was chasing Rittenhouse. Huber hit Rittenhouse with a skateboard and tried to grab his gun, and Grosskreutz pointed a pistol at him, Richards wrote.

Kenosha County Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder has scheduled a hearing on the motions for Sept. 17.

Kyle Rittenhouse
This Oct. 30, 2020 file photo provided by the Kenosha County Sheriff's Department shows Kyle Rittenhouse in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Rittenhouse's attorney wants a judge to allow him to argue that one of the men his client fatally shot during a Wisconsin protest was a sex offender, saying it supports a defense theory that he attacked Rittenhouse and intended to take his gun because he couldn't legally possess one. Kenosha County Sheriff's Department via AP File