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Prosecutors request arrest warrant after Kyle Rittenhouse accused of violating bond

NBC News logo NBC News 2/4/2021 Doha Madani
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Wisconsin prosecutors filed a motion Wednesday requesting an arrest warrant and bond increase for Kyle Rittenhouse, the teenager charged with killing two people during protests in Kenosha last summer.

The Kenosha County District Attorney's Office alleged that Rittenhouse, 18, violated the conditions of his bond by failing to notify the court of his changed address, which makes it harder to monitor his whereabouts. A notice for a hearing was returned to the sender without a forwarding address, according to a court filing from Thursday.

Mark Richards, an attorney for Rittenhouse, filed a response to the motion and provided NBC News with a copy Wednesday evening. According to the motion, Rittenhouse was moved to an undisclosed safe house by his previous defense attorney, John Pierce, after the teenager received numerous threats.

"While completing paperwork related to Kyle’s release, Attorney Pierce was directly informed by a high-ranking member of the Kenosha Police Department not to provide the address of the Rittenhouse Safe House because of the numerous threats made against Kyle and his family," the response said.

Prosecutors argued that because Rittenhouse did not post the bond himself, he has maintained a careless attitude and has little incentive to comply with his bond conditions.

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"After all, it is extremely unusual for a defendant facing a charge of First Degree Intentional Homicide in Kenosha County to post cash bond and be released from custody pending trial," the motion said. "Rarely does our community see accused murderers roaming about freely."

Rittenhouse was released from the Kenosha County Jail on a $2 million bond in November with donations made to his legal defense fund, largely from right-wing activists and conservative celebrities.

The motion asks the court to issue a warrant for Rittenhouse's arrest and to increase his bond by $200,000. It also asks the court to order Rittenhouse to update his address immediately.

Rittenhouse's defense team said they contacted an assistant district attorney in November to discuss providing a new address, if the prosecutors agreed to a sealed filing, but the Kenosha district attorney's office refused, Richards' response said.

IMAGE: Kyle Rittenhouse (Adam Rogan / AP file) © Adam Rogan IMAGE: Kyle Rittenhouse (Adam Rogan / AP file)

Rittenhouse is accused of killing Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, when he traveled to Wisconsin last year to guard a car dealership during the protests that took place after the shooting of Blake on Aug. 23.

He is also accused of injuring a third man, Gaige Grosskreutz, who had a handgun.

The court had only just modified the release conditions of Rittenhouse's bond on Jan. 22, after he was spotted at a bar. Prosecutors filed a motion after Rittenhouse was spotted with his mother at a bar in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin, on Jan. 5, the same day he pleaded not guilty.

Rittenhouse was photographed in a shirt that read "Free as F***," while flashing the "OK" sign — a gesture that has been co-opted by known white supremacist groups, the motion said. He was seen consuming alcohol while being serenaded by a group of men who sang the Proud Boys' anthem, according to the motion.

The state of Wisconsin allows those under age 21 to drink alcohol if they are with a parent, although it is illegal in Illinois, where Rittenhouse was living.

Rittenhouse is barred from drinking alcohol and prohibited from associating with any group or person known to menace others on the basis of things like race or religion. He can't have any weapons.

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