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Judge Rules Kyle Rittenhouse’s AR-15 Will Be Destroyed By State Crime Lab

Kenosha County, WI – A judge ruled on Friday that the AR-15 rifle Kyle Rittenhouse used to shoot three people, killing two, during the riots in Kenosha will be destroyed by the police.

Kenosha County Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger and Rittenhouse’s defense attorney, Mark Richards, appeared before Kenosha Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder on Jan. 28, KOAT reported.

Richards filed paperwork on Jan. 19 with the Kenosha County Circuit Court seeking the return of the gun and other items that were seized by the police during their investigation, the Associated Press reported.

Binger told Schroeder that both sides had agreed to allow the state crime lab to destroy the rifle that Dominick Black purchased for then-17-year-old Rittenhouse.

The prosecutor said the gun would probably be destroyed in April, KOAT reported.

Schroeder ordered that the destruction of Rittenhouse’s AR-15 semi-automatic rifle be recorded.

Binger told the judge that the rest of Rittenhouse’s property had already been returned to him, KOAT reported.

Rittenhouse was not in court for the hearing.

A Kenosha County jury found him not guilty on all charges on Nov. 19, 2021.

If Rittenhouse had been found guilty, the state would have destroyed the semi-automatic rifle since it could not have been legally returned to its owner, the Kenosha News reported.

Dave Hancock, a spokesperson for Rittenhouse, had previously said that the now-19 year old who killed two people and seriously wounded a third with that weapon when he was just 17 had no interest in recovering it.

Hancock explained the motion for the gun’s return in a text as a “legal process … The DA must return his belongings. When the rifle is returned, it will be destroyed,” according to the Kenosha News.

Attorneys for Rittenhouse also requested that the Kenosha County district attorney return the ammunition, sling, and magazine from the firearm along with the teen’s iPhone, face mask, and a $1 bill.

Rittenhouse also wanted to retrieve the clothes he was wearing the night of the shootings, including a pair of boots, a baseball cap, blue jeans, socks, a belt, and a t-shirt, according to the Kenosha News.

The law says the gun has to be returned to Rittenhouse unless he is legally prohibited from owning it.

“If the seized property is a firearm… and a person claiming the right to possession of the firearm has applied for its return… the court shall order a hearing… to occur within 20 business days after the person applies for the return,” the Kenosha News reported.

If “the person is not prohibited from possessing a firearm under state or federal law as determined… the court shall, within 5 days of the completion of the hearing and using a return of firearms form developed by the director of state courts, order the property returned,” according to Wisconsin law.

The teen’s attorneys have said the shootings occurred when he was in Kenosha to help clean graffiti off school buildings that had been vandalized during the anti-police riots when a friend asked him to help provide security for a car dealership.

Rittenhouse, then 17 years old, brought a medic kit and the AR-15 rifle that Black had purchased for him with his stimulus check and told reporters on the scene he was there to help anybody who was hurt.

Black recently pleaded “no contest” to misdemeanor contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

At one point, he left the car dealership to provide medical aid to a protester and then found himself blocked from returning to where his friends were.

His attorneys have said Rittenhouse was pursued through the streets of Kenosha and shot three people – killing two – in self-defense.

One of the men whom Rittenhouse shot that night testified at trial that he had pointed his gun at the teenager before the boy shot him, CNN reported.

“When you were standing three to five feet from him with your arms up in the air, he never fired, right?” defense attorney Corey Chirafisi asked Gaige Grosskreutz, whom Rittenhouse shot in the right bicep.

“Correct,” Grosskreutz said.

“It wasn’t until you pointed your gun at him, advanced on him with your gun – now your hand is down pointed at him — that he fired, right?” Chirafisi asked.

“Correct,” Grosskreutz responded.

Grosskreutz testified that he was carrying a pistol concealed that night even though his conceal carried permit wad expired, CNN reported.

He also admitted that he lied to investigators when he claimed his gun had fallen out of his pants earlier in the evening.

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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Written by Sandy Malone

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