Wisconsin Crime Lab Destroys Rittenhouse Rifle

Police return clothes, personal items the former defendant wanted
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 20, 2022 6:05 PM CST
Updated Mar 11, 2022 4:55 PM CST
Rittenhouse Asks Court to Give Him Back His Rifle
Kyle Rittenhouse appears in court in November.   (Sean Krajacic/The Kenosha News via AP, Pool_File)

Update: The weapon that Kyle Rittenhouse used to shoot three people during Wisconsin protests in 2020 has been destroyed. The State Crime Lab did it on Feb. 25, WISN reports, in keeping with an agreement between Rittenhouse and prosecutors. Police had been holding the rifle since it was confiscated after the shootings. In addition, clothing and other personal items that Rittenhouse wanted returned to him have been. Our original story from Jan. 20 follows:

Kyle Rittenhouse, the Illinois man acquitted of fatally shooting two men and wounding a third during street protests in Wisconsin in 2020, is seeking the return of the gun and other property that police seized after his arrest. Rittenhouse's attorney Mark Richards filed paperwork with the Kenosha County Circuit Court on Wednesday seeking the return of the items, explaining that Rittenhouse wants the AR-15-style rifle back so that it can be destroyed. He also wants the clothing he was wearing the night of the shootings returned, the AP reports. "At the end of the day, two people did lose their lives, period," a family spokesman said, adding, "That weapon doesn’t belong on a mantle. It doesn't belong in a museum."

Law enforcement has had the gun since the day after Rittenhouse shot three men, two of them fatally, on Aug. 25, 2020, during a night of protests and unrest in the Kenosha over the shooting of a Black man, Jacob Blake, by a white police officer. In November, Rittenhouse, 19, was found not guilty of all charges related to the shooting deaths of Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber and the wounding of Gaige Grosskreutz. Rittenhouse family spokesman David Hancock said Thursday that Rittenhouse wants to destroy the rifle and throw out his clothing so that no one can use any of it to "celebrate" the shootings.

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The gun was purchased by Dominick Black for Rittenhouse, who was 17 at the time and unable to legally buy a gun. It "was to become the legal property of Kyle Rittenhouse upon his 18th birthday," which was Jan. 3, 2021, the motion stated. Earlier this month, Black pleaded guilty to two citations for contributing to the delinquency of a minor in exchange for prosecutors dropping two felony charges of intent to sell a dangerous weapon to a person younger than 18. According to court documents, Rittenhouse also wants to retrieve the ammunition, the sling, and the magazine from the firearm, his cellphone, a cloth face mask, and a $1 bill.

(More Kyle Rittenhouse stories.)

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