Judge Sides with Kyle Rittenhouse in Defense Request for Secret ‘Safe House’ Address, Refuses to Issue Warrant for Re-Arrest or Increase Bail

A Wisconsin circuit court judge on Thursday pounded Kenosha County District Attorney Thomas Binger over arguments that alleged murderer Kyle Rittenhouse failed to keep the court accurately advised of his current address.

Ultimately, the judge refused Binger’s requests to increase Rittenhouse’s bond or to re-arrest Rittenhouse after court documents were returned as undeliverable from Rittenhouse’s last known address.

Rittenhouse “is thumbing his nose” at his own bond requirements to keep the court updated about said address pursuant to Wisconsin law, Binger unsuccessfully argued. Binger also accused Rittenhouse of going out and drinking, wearing inappropriate slogans on t-shirts, and flashing white supremacist symbols while out on bond.

Rittenhouse, now 18, is accused of murdering Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, after bringing a weapon to racially charged protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, after the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Aug. 2020. He’s accused of injuring Gaige Grosskreutz. Rittenhouse was 17 at the time of the killings and is from Illinois.

Judge Bruce E. Schroeder was unimpressed by Binger’s pleas to know where Rittenhouse was located and routinely characterized the prosecutor’s arguments as bail restrictions rather than as address updates.

Schroeder said he doesn’t know where “international business” defendants are located — they are allowed to leave the country as they please while their cases continue, he suggested — and he noted that his “border county” of Kenosha frequently allows defendants to cross into neighboring Illinois unless a judge places a restriction upon a defendant. No such restriction was initially placed on Rittenhouse, Schroeder noted from the record.

“To issue a warrant now for a defendant who’s appeared at every hearing — I’d be breaking the law,” Schroeder said.

Schroeder said that bail was not merely a “privilege.”

“Bail is a right,” Schroeder said with reference to the constitution.

But he agreed that Rittenhouse wasn’t completely square with the court.

“If he’d have left a forwarding address, that probably would have been full compliance,” Schroeder said of the defendant.  “We’re interested in an address where we can send notices” for hearings and other courts processes.

“So, he’s in violation,” the judge said, referencing Rittenhouse.

But he noted that he’s “never jailed” a defendant who, while appearing in court, said his address on file with the court needed to be updated.

“We amend their address on our records.  They might be barked at a little bit for violating the court’s argument, but that’s all that happens,” Schroeder said.

Schroder failed to acknowledge the difference between a defendant appearing in court and updating an address with Rittenhouse’s situation, which involved a court suddenly learning that Rittenhouse wasn’t at the address he provided.

The judge said he couldn’t recall a defendant’s bond amount ever being raised — which is what prosecutors requested against Rittenhouse.

“I’m going to deny the motions,” Schroeder finally ruled.

“I do think that — I understand the concern — and my heart goes out to everybody involved, this is a terrible thing,” Schroeder said to those listening — including prosecutors, the families of those affected by the shooting, and Rittenhouse and his defense attorney.  Schroeder said he wanted the case handled “peacefully, fairly, and impartially.”

Schroeder also said he feared for the safety of the defendant.

“I don’t want anymore problems.  The police don’t need anymore problems.  We don’t need people’s safety in jeopardy in any way,” Schroeder said.

Schroeder noted that his courthouse windows and doors were “still boarded up” after the “ghastly event” known worldwide as the Kenosha protests.

He agreed with Rittenhouse’s defense that Rittenhouse’s address should “be kept from public scrutiny.”

Then, the judge ordered Rittenhouse to provide “exact physical location of his place of his abode” to the clerk “to keep it privately, to be given to me, to be given to whomever the sheriff designates as the commanding — the person responsible for full knowledge of the whereabouts of the defendant — and that is to be kept secret by the sheriff’s office.”

Rittenhouse’s attorney said he would provide the address by 5:00 p.m. Central time — less than two hours after the hearing ended.

The district attorney asked that his office be given the secret address as well.

“No,” the judge said.

He ordered that the DA’s office deal with the sheriff’s department if it really needed the address.

Binger said he needed to know Rittenhouse’s address in case he filed additional charges.

“We’ve never been denied this information” in any other case, Binger told the judge.

“This is highly irregular,” Binger said, citing his office’s legal duty to enforce Wisconsin’s laws.  “We cannot do our job without this information.”

“The sheriff can keep on top of this,” Schroeder said.

Rittenhouse’s attorney, Mark Richards, shot back that any future charges could be sent to his law office and that Rittenhouse would be in court “the next day.”

Richards then accused the DA of “posturing.”

Binger tried arguing that the sheriff’s jurisdiction wouldn’t extend to Rittenhouse’s presumed whereabouts in Illinois should a problem arise.

Schroeder shut down the hearing without responding.

Published by amongthefray

News with a historical perspective. Fighting against misinformation, hate, and revisionist history.

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