A 17-year-old from Illinois accused of killing two demonstrators in Kenosha, Wis., has been extradited to stand trial on homicide charges, with sheriff’s deputies in Illinois handing him over to their counterparts in Wisconsin shortly after a judge on Friday approved the contested extradition. In his afternoon ruling that rejected Kyle Rittenhouse's bid to remain in Illinois, Judge Paul Novak noted that defense attorneys had characterized the Wisconsin charges as politically motivated. Immediately after Novak issued the ruling at the courthouse in Waukegan, Ill., deputies with the Lake County Sheriff's Office picked up Rittenhouse and drove him 5 miles to the Illinois-Wisconsin border, sheriff's office rep Christopher Covelli told the AP. Rittenhouse was then turned over to Kenosha County sheriff's deputies at the state line at around 3:45pm, Covelli said.
The shootings happened Aug. 25, two days after a white police officer trying to arrest Jacob Blake shot the 29-year-old Black man seven times in the back, paralyzing him from the waist down. Video of the police shooting sparked outrage and helped spur on the protests. Rittenhouse's case has become a rallying point for some conservatives who see him as a patriot who was exercising his right to bear arms during unrest. Others portray him as a domestic terrorist who incited protesters by showing up wielding a rifle. The most serious charge Rittenhouse faces in Wisconsin is first-degree intentional homicide, which carries a life prison sentence. He's also charged with attempted intentional homicide in the wounding of a third protester, as well as a misdemeanor charge of underage firearm possession. His lawyers have argued he was acting in self-defense. Rittenhouse and the man he allegedly injured are white, as were the two men who were killed.
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