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Crime & Courts

Lake County state's attorney calls arguments by Rittenhouse's attorneys 'red herring'

Kyle Rittenhouse of Antioch helps clean the exterior of Reuther Central High School on Aug. 25 in Kenosha, Wis. Rittenhouse, 17, was arrested Aug. 26, after two people were shot to death during protests in Kenosha over the police shooting of Jacob Blake.
Kyle Rittenhouse of Antioch helps clean the exterior of Reuther Central High School on Aug. 25 in Kenosha, Wis. Rittenhouse, 17, was arrested Aug. 26, after two people were shot to death during protests in Kenosha over the police shooting of Jacob Blake.

In court documents filed late Thursday, the Lake County state's attorney's office said the arguments used by Kyle Rittenhouse's attorneys to challenge their client's extradition to Wisconsin were based on factual distortions, misleading statements and improper interpretation of the law.

The documents offer a preview to the arguments both sides could present to Lake County Judge Paul Novak at the next hearing on the Antioch teen's extradition on Oct. 30.

Rittenhouse, 17, faces first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless homicide, attempted first-degree intentional homicide and other charges in the deaths of Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber and the wounding of Gaige Grosskreutz. The shootings took place Aug. 25, two days after Kenosha police shot Jacob Blake, 29, in the back.

Rittenhouse is being held without bail at the Minard E. Hulse Juvenile Detention Center near Vernon Hills.

Earlier this month, Rittenhouse's lawyers said their client acted in self-defense while exercising his right to bear arms and that they intended to fight his extradition to Wisconsin, claiming a constitutional violation. They also argued neither Wisconsin nor Illinois authorities followed legal technicalities for extradition.

Among the legal technicalities that Rittenhouse's team seized on are an alleged typographical mistake and a missing signature on an Illinois arrest citation, noted the state's response filed Thursday.

"These allegations are improper and a red herring," the state argues. "The Illinois arrest citation had nothing to do with the governor's grant of extradition nor is it relevant to this limited hearing on this matter."

The prosecution's written response Thursday says the defense's arguments about what happened in Kenosha have no place in the extradition hearing.

"This is an extradition hearing," the document states. "It bears repeating: an extradition hearing."

If convicted of the most serious charges, Rittenhouse could spend the rest of his life in prison.

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