Kyle Rittenhouse Pleads Not Guilty to Homicide Charges in Fatal Shootings of 2 Kenosha Protesters

A man on the ground was shot in the chest as clashes between protesters and armed civilians who protect the streets of Kenosha against the arson during the third day of protests over the shooting of a black man Jacob Blake by police officer
Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Kyle Rittenhouse, the Illinois teenager who fatally shot two protesters and injured another over the summer in Kenosha pleaded not guilty to homicide and all other charges on Tuesday, according to reports. Rittenhouse entered his plea at a hearing via videoconference Tuesday, AP News reported

Rittenhouse, 18, who is white, is accused of traveling with a firearm from his home in Antioch, Illinois across the border to Wisconsin where protests honoring Jacob Blake, a Black man shot several times by a police officer, turned violent.

Rittenhouse says he went to protect businesses from vandalism. 

While at the protests, Rittenhouse was captured on video, carrying an assault-style rifle which he then used to fatally shoot Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber, and injure Gaige Grosskreutz, officials said. Rittenhouse's lawyers say he acted in self-defense. His charges include first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless homicide, and attempted first-degree intentional reckless homicide, NPR reported

Rittenhouse was released on a $2 million bond on Nov. 20 which was, in part, paid for by a Christian crowdfunding site. The teen has earned widespread support from the conservative right, who have considered him a patriot. 

A trial date has been set for March 29, but his attorney Mark Richards has asked for the date to be pushed back, AP reported.

Also on Tuesday, Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley announced the officer who shot Blake will not face charges. Rusten Sheskey, a White officer, shot Blake seven times while responding to a domestic incident on Aug. 23, 2020. Blake was paralyzed from the waist down in the shooting. 

"It is my decision now that no Kenosha law enforcement officer will be charged with any criminal offense based on the facts and laws," Graveley said Tuesday, according to CNN