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Teen charged in fatal shootings during Kenosha protests pleads not guilty

A teenager accused of killing two people during protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, over the summer pleaded not guilty to all charges on Tuesday, CBS affiliate WISC-TV reports. Kyle Rittenhouse, now 18, appeared virtually before Kenosha County Circuit Court hours before it was announced no charges would be filed in the shooting of Jacob Blake, which sparked the initial protests.

Rittenhouse, who was 17 at the time of the shooting, was charged as an adult with two counts of first-degree homicide and one count of attempted homicide. He also faces charges of recklessly endangering the safety of two other victims and possessing a weapon while under the age of 18. 

Prosecutors allege Rittenhouse fatally shot Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber and wounded a third person with an AR-style rifle on August 25, during the third night of protests over the police shooting of Blake, a 29-year-old Black man who was left paralyzed.

According to court documents, Rittenhouse shot and killed Rosenbaum after a brief altercation in a parking lot in which Rosenbaum tried to take his gun. Rittenhouse then fled from the scene and allegedly tripped and fell to the ground, at which point Huber tried to take his gun. Rittenhouse then allegedly shot and killed him. 

Kyle Rittenhouse
Kyle Rittenhouse at an extradition hearing in Lake County court on October 30, 2020. Nam Y. Huh / AP

Shortly after Huber was shot, Rittenhouse also allegedly shot a third victim, Gaige Grosskreutz, in the arm. Rittenhouse's lawyers claim he acted in self-defense.  

Rittenhouse can bee seen in cellphone video walking away from the scene of the second shooting towards police vehicles while still armed and with his hands raised. The police drive past him, however, and Rittenhouse would eventually return to Illinois, where he lives, before being extradited to Wisconsin after his arrest the following month.

Rittenhouse was released from jail on November 20 after posting $2 million bond. He is scheduled to return to court for another hearing on March 10.

Recently, claims were filed on behalf of two of the men shot by Rittenhouse alleging the city of Kenosha and Kenosha County were negligent in their response to the unrest, WISC-TV reports.

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