Prosecutors seek hearing on Rittenhouse attorney’s request

KENOSHA, Wis. (AP) — Kenosha County prosecutors are seeking a hearing on a California attorney’s request to be allowed to appear in court for an Illinois 17-year-old accused of killing two people during a protest in Wisconsin.

John Pierce, of Los Angeles, is not licensed to practice in Wisconsin and would need the court’s permission to appear in court for Kyle Rittenhouse. Such requests are routinely granted, but Kenosha County Assistant District Attorney Jason Zapf has asked for a hearing on the matter “to address several issues.”

Pierce has no real criminal defense experience and has been promoting Rittenhouse as a patriot, saying the case is one of political prosecution, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. He has also worked to solicit donations for Rittenhouse’s defense.

Rittenhouse, of Antioch, Illinois, is accused of fatally shooting Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber and wounding Gaige Grosskreutz during a demonstration Aug. 25 that followed the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha.

Rittenhouse told police he was attacked while guarding a business and that he fired in self-defense. He faces multiple charges, including intentional homicide, reckless endangerment and being a minor in possession of a firearm. Wisconsin law doesn’t permit minors to carry or possess a gun unless they’re hunting.

He posted $2 million bail on Friday and was released from custody. He is due back in court Dec. 3 for a preliminary hearing.

Rittenhouse’s case has taken on political overtones. Supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement have painted Rittenhouse as a trigger-happy white supremacist. Conservatives upset over property destruction during recent protests have portrayed him as a patriot exercising his right to bear arms during unrest.

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