Wisconsin prosecutors on Wednesday asked to issue another arrest warrant for Kyle Rittenhouse for violating his bail agreement. The 18-year-old far right, “Blue Lives Matter” advocate shot and killed two anti-racist protestors and injured a third during demonstrations against the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha over the summer. Since then, Rittenhouse has been used as an example by both sides of the division stoked within the US.
But the need for Rittenhouse's rearrest has also caused some confusion. The Kenosha County District Attorney's Office said they were unable to locate Rittenhouse after he failed to disclose an updated address within 48 hours of moving, “preventing the Court from monitoring his whereabouts," Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger wrote in a court motion. As a result, prosecutors are also seeking to increase Rittenhouse’s bond by $200,000 (£150,000) for violating the conditions of his bond.
Binger wrote in the motion that the clerk of the Circuit Court mailed a notice to Rittenhouse’s home on 22nd December 2020 “and the notice was returned unclaimed on 28th January 2021." Then, Kenosha police were dispatched to the residence on 2nd February when they learned he was no longer living at that address.
Rittenhouse’s attorneys objected to the motion and said that “arrangements were made for the Rittenhouse family to reside at a 'Safe House'” after the family received death threats. Attorney John Pierce, who left Rittenhouse’s legal team in mid-January said that when he went to post bond for Rittenhouse in November, and a Kenosha police captain advised him not to “provide the address of the Rittenhouse Safe House on the form, but to instead provide his home address in Antioch, Illinois.” The Kenosha Police Department could not immediately be reached for comment.
Attorney Mark Richards, who is currently representing Rittenhouse filed a motion on Wednesday objecting to the bond increase. Richards said that he “simultaneously filed a notice updating the court with the defendant’s current address” under a separate motion to keep the safe house address sealed. But Binger refused, according to Richards.
Prosecutors sought to increase restrictions on Rittenhouse’s bond agreement last month after photos surfaced of the 18-year-old drinking and taking photos with the white supremacist Proud Boys militia at a Wisconsin bar. According to prosecutors, Rittenhouse was seen at the bar 90 minutes after his arraignment on 5th January. He was charged with two counts of felony homicide for killing Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber, and one charge of felony attempted homicide for wounding Gaige Grosskruetz.
Rittenhouse pleaded not guilty to the charges, with his legal team maintaining that he acted in self defence when he used an assault rifle to shoot and kill two unarmed protestors.