Rittenhouse judge refuses to jail him again over procedural issue

Prosecutors in Wisconsin continue to hound Kyle Rittenhouse and attempt to put him back in jail ahead of his trial. They recently sought an order to increase his bail by another $200,000 and lock him up until he could come up with the money. (That would be on top of the two million that’s already been put up, largely thanks to Ricky Schroder.) So what did Rittenhouse do this time to allegedly violate the conditions set for his bail? He apparently failed to file a change of address form with the court when he moved in December. The judge wasn’t having any of it, though, and the request was denied. (CBS Chicago)

A Wisconsin judge on Thursday denied a request to increase bail for Kyle Rittenhouse, after prosecutors accused him of failing to notify the court of his new address while he awaits trial for shooting three people, killing two of them, during protests in Kenosha last summer.

Kenosha County Judge Bruce Schroeder denied prosecutors’ requests to increase Rittenhouse’s bail and issue an arrest warrant until he can post the higher bond. However, the judge ordered Rittenhouse’s attorney to inform the court clerk of his new home address, which will be shared with the Kenosha County Sheriff’s office, but otherwise be kept secret, even from prosecutors.

On the one hand, the prosecutors weren’t technically out of line on this. Rittenhouse is awaiting trial and suspects are expected to follow the rules imposed as a condition of granting bail. But there are also things known as extenuating circumstances. As his attorney made clear, Kyle Rittenhouse didn’t relocate in an attempt to evade law enforcement or flee the state. He was moved to a safe house after receiving repeated death threats.

If anyone was at fault here it was probably Rittenhouse’s attorney. He should have been fully aware of the conditions imposed when bail was granted and ensured that his client submitted the information as required. How that didn’t manage to happen hasn’t been specified. But now the Sheriff’s Department knows his new address and will be able to reach him if any further appearances are required.

Even if this was all handled by the book, it’s hard to escape the feeling that the prosecutors are really trying to go as hard on Rittenhouse as they can and broadcast that information to the public to show how “serious” they’re taking it. As you may recall, the judge already forbade Rittenhouse from “talking to white supremacists,” while offering little to no guidance as to how Rittenhouse was to identify who might qualify for that designation. He also banned the suspect from consuming alcohol, despite there being no indication that the original crimes he stands accused of involved alcohol abuse. (Rittenhouse was seen legally having a beer with his mother at a local bar.)

The trial is scheduled to start next month, though it’s anticipated that Rittenhouse’s lawyer will seek an extension. Sooner or later, a jury will be allowed to make a decision on each of the charges. It’s worth asking if the prosecutors are more worried about justice or tamping down additional riots by treating Rittenhouse as if he’s guilty until proven innocent. (Good luck with that.) As we’ve discussed previously, the video evidence that’s been made available to the media appears to build a pretty good case for self-defense in the shootings. He should definitely be found guilty on the charge of illegally purchasing and possessing a firearm as a minor, but that’s a far cry from taking the fall on a homicide charge.

In any event, Rittenhouse definitely needs to work closely with his attorney and follow the rules more closely or he might not be so lucky next time. And Ricky Schroder may be running out of cash.