KEY POINTS

  • Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse appeared in court Friday for a pre-trial hearing on extradition to Wisconsin
  • His lawyers have until Thursday to file a petition opposing the move, and have announced intentions to do so
  • Conservative media and his own lawyers have characterized him as a revolutionary and "Minuteman"

Kyle Rittenhouse indicated in court Friday he would fight extradition to Wisconsin to stand trial in the shooting deaths of two people killed during demonstrations sparked by the Kenosha police shooting of Jacob Blake.

The teenager's attorneys said he should be allowed to stay in Illinois until the issue is resolved. His lawyers have until Thursday to file their petition, with the next court appearance set for Oct. 9. 

Rittenhouse traveled from his home in Antioch, Illinois,  to join militias roaming Kenosha about 30 miles away and clashing with protesters. He was charged with six counts including two homicide charges after two men were shot and killed. A third man was injured.

Rittenhouse has received support from the right-wing media, with Fox News characterizing him as a benevolent child. 

Rittenhouse’s lawyers have doubled down on militia rhetoric. The Associated Press reported lead attorney John Pierce said in a now-deleted tweet: “Kyle Rittenhouse will go down in American history alongside that brave unknown patriot ... who fired ‘the shot heard round the world.’ A second American revolution against tyranny has begun.”

Pierce has also said he would argue U.S. law supports the right to bear arms in an “unorganized militia.” His critics say these tactics are simply a ploy to raise money for Rittenhouse’s legal defense. The defense has raised nearly $2 million, but critics say the fundraising effort feeds into the prosecution narrative by characterizing Rittenhouse as being in Wisconsin for the purpose of political violence.

“They’re playing to his most negative characteristics and stereotypes, what his critics want to perceive him as -- a crazy militia member out to cause harm and start a revolution,” Los Angeles attorney Robert Barnes told the AP.

Milwaukee attorney Richard Cayo said such tactics “keep the money flowing while the battle is ongoing. It puts lawyers at risk of trying to serve two masters.”