Kyle Rittenhouse, the Illinois teen charged with killing two people during a protest in Kenosha last summer, will remain free on $2 million bond despite violating the terms of his release, according to prosecutors. Prosecutors moved to have him rearrested or see his bond increase after they said prosecutors couldn't find Rittenhouse. It was later discovered that the 18-year-old has been staying at an "undisclosed safe house" after receiving numerous death threats following his November release, according to reports.
Judge Bruce Schroeder denied the motion at a virtual hearing Thursday. The hearing saw statements made by the man who survived being shot by Rittenhouse and the father of one of the people killed by Rittenhouse, the Washington Post reported.
Schroeder said Rittenhouse did in fact fail to keep the court apprised of his residence, but noted his release conditions required him to provide the court with his address, but do not require him to actually reside there.
“To issue a warrant now for a defendant that has appeared at every hearing would be breaking the law and I’m not going to do it,” Schroeder said, the Post reported.
Lawyers for Rittenhouse said that they originally offered to disclose the teen's new address so long as prosecutors kept it a secret, but they refused to keep the public record private, the Chicago Tribune reported.
The hearing came several days after news broke that John Pierce, who had once been Rittenhouse's criminal attorney, would no longer be representing him in civil matters. Another Los Angeles attorney, Robert Barnes, is set to take his place. He was not available for comment Thursday.
“Kyle is a terrific young man and is totally innocent. 100% perfect self-defense. It was the most gratifying moment of my professional life to reunite him with his mother," John Pierce wrote in an email to Inside Edition Digital. "I wish him and his family and the amazing criminal defense team I built for him in Wisconsin the very best, and I look forward to the acquittal. It will be a great day for Kyle, the right of self-defense, the Second Amendment and America.”
Mark Richards, the criminal attorney, told reporters that Pierce is the one who moved Rittenhouse from his previous location, NBC News reported.
"While completing paperwork related to Kyle’s release, Attorney Pierce was directly informed by a high-ranking member of the Kenosha Police Department not to provide the address of the Rittenhouse Safe House because of the numerous threats made against Kyle and his family," Richards wrote in a response filed earlier this month. Kenosha police said that while a police captain did speak with Pierce "regarding security concerns raised by Mr. Pierce, surrounding the Kyle Rittenhouse release from custody," the captain didn't provide "instructions about how to fill out paperwork," NBC reported.
Rittenhouse is facing charges stemming from the Kenosha protests that broke out in August after an officer shot Jacob Blake, a Black man, multiple times. Rittenhouse who was 17 at the time, has claimed self-defense.