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Kyle Rittenhouse is seeking the return of the gun he defended himself with in Kenosha, Wisc., along with other property that police seized after his arrest.
In November, Rittenhouse was found not guilty on all charges after fatally shooting two rioters attacking him in 2020, and wounding a third protester. The then-17-year-old claimed that he was acting in self-defense on the night of the shootings and the jury sided with him.
Attorney Mark Richards, who is representing Rittenhouse, filed paperwork with the Kenosha County Circuit Court on Wednesday seeking the return of the items, explaining that his client wants the AR-15-style rifle back so that it can be destroyed, the Kenosha News reported.
“At the end of the day, two people did lose their lives, period,” Hancock said. “That weapon was involved in that. That weapon doesn’t belong on a mantle. It doesn’t belong in a museum. It belongs where Kyle wants it, and Kyle wants it destroyed. … There’s plenty of people out there who would like to hold these items up, on both sides. That’s nothing Kyle’s interested in.”
Rittenhouse is also seeking the return of the ammunition, the sling and magazine from the firearm, his cellphone, the clothing he was wearing the night of the shootings and a $1 bill, according to court documents.
“As established through the trial testimony of both Dominick Black and Mr. Rittenhouse, the Smith & Wesson M&P 15 rifle … was purchased by Dominick Black,” the filing states, according to the newspaper.
The gun was purchased by Black in April 2020, after Rittenhouse gave his friend the money — at 17, he was too young to legally buy it himself. Court documents state that it “was to become the legal property of Kyle Rittenhouse upon his 18th birthday.”
Black pleaded guilty earlier this month to two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor in a deal where prosecutors dropped two felony charges of intent to sell a dangerous weapon to a person younger than 18.
“The hefty charges were clearly meant to force his cooperation in the prosecution of his friend. With Rittenhouse now acquitted, the prosecutors have thrown in the towel and agreed to a fine of $2000 in exchange for dropping the two counts,” legal scholar and George Washington University Law School professor Jonathan Turley wrote.
Kenosha law enforcement has had possession of the rifle since the day after the shootings — Rittenhouse turned himself in to police in Antioch, Illinois where he lived at the time.
Wisconsin law states: “If the seized property is a firearm … and a person claiming the right to possession of the firearm has applied for its return … the court shall order a hearing … to occur within 20 business days after the person applies for the return.” Then if it is determined “the person is not prohibited from possessing a firearm under state or federal law as determined … the court shall, within 5 days of the completion of the hearing and using a return of firearms form developed by the director of state courts, order the property returned.”
The court is expected to hold a hearing on the motion next week, on January 28.
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