A Wisconsin court commissioner overseeing the case of a teenager accused of killing two people and injuring a third during protests in Kenosha, Wis., this summer, has denied defense attorneys' request to dismiss two of the six charges facing Kyle Ritttenhouse.
During a preliminary hearing conducted via video link Thursday, Kenosha County Circuit Court Commissioner Loren Keating also said he found enough evidence that support the charges against Rittenhouse, 17, for the case to proceed to trial.
The Antioch, Ill., teenager was released from police custody last month and faces homicide charges in the killings of Anthony Huber and Joseph Rosenbaum and attempted homicide in the wounding of Gaige Grosskreutz.
The shootings took place following days of protests after Jacob Blake, a Black man, was shot several times at close range by Kenosha police. Blake was left paralyzed.
Keating denied motions to dismiss a felony charge of recklessly endangering the safety of others with a dangerous weapon and possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under 18, a misdemeanor.
An attorney for Rittenhouse, Mark Richards, tried to convince the court that the teenager was acting in self-defense and that he broke no laws by possessing the firearm during demonstrations on Aug 25.
Kenosha County Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger disagreed.
"We don't allow teenagers to run around with guns, it's really that simple," Binger said. "A teenager in this case killed two people and shot a third, because teenagers shouldn't be allowed to run around with dangerous weapons because bad things happen."
Rittenhouse was seen seated in an office behind his lawyer during the court proceeding with a face covering on. He was not called upon to testify during the hearing.
His case has laid bare the divisions in this country on the issues of race and gun control.
Black Lives Matter supporters have characterized him as a white vigilante and someone who brought an AR-15 rifle to demonstrations, to provoke further violence at demonstrations that were already destructive.
Gun rights supporters champion him as a patriot and someone who was there to help law enforcement protect people and property. Celebrities including former Silver Spoons actor Ricky Schroder helped raise money toward the $2 million bond for Rittenhouse's release.
He is scheduled to be arraigned Jan. 5 in Kenosha County Circuit Court.