Judge to decide Kyle Rittenhouse's extradition fate by Friday evening

‘Leave it to law enforcement’: How Trump handled Kyle Rittenhouse situation

Byron York reacts to President Trump going to Kenosha and the way he addressed the Kyle Rittenhouse situation

An Illinois judge said he plans to decide by Friday evening whether an Antioch teenager accused of fatally shooting two people and wounding a third during a night of unrest in Kenosha, Wis., will be extradited back to the Wisconsin city to face homicide charges despite protest from his attorneys.

Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, was present in the courtroom for the Friday morning hearing, wearing a blue button-down shirt, a dark-colored tie and a face mask. 

Defense lawyers had indicated before the hearing in Waukegan that they would call witnesses, including Rittenhouse’s mother, Wendy Rittenhouse, to try to block his extradition. But they called no one and said they had chosen instead to focus on the legalities of the case.

Kyle Rittenhouse appears for an extradition hearing in Lake County court Friday, Oct. 30, 2020, in Waukegan, Ill. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, Pool)

After hearing 45 minutes of arguments, Judge Paul Novak said he would issue a ruling by 5 p.m. local time. 

Rittenhouse remains in an Illinois jail as his lawyers try to prevent his extradition to Kenosha. Attorneys have continuously argued Rittenhouse was acting in self-defense and his safety is now in jeopardy. They also argued that extraditing him would violate his constitutional rights. 

In one filing, defense lawyers complained that Rittenhouse had been “publicly branded a ‘mass murderer,’ a ‘terrorist,’ a ‘racist,’ and more.” At a hearing in the case in early October, Rittenhouse attorney John Pierce said "this is not a legitimate criminal prosecution, it is a political prosecution.” Defense lawyers have also said his extradition would be akin to turning him “over to the mob.”

Rittenhouse faces charges of first-degree intentional homicide; first-degree reckless homicide; attempted first-degree intentional homicide; possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under 18; and two counts of first-degree reckless endangerment.

The charges against Rittenhouse stem from a series of alleged shootings on the night of Aug. 25 during unrest over the police shooting of Jacob Blake. 

Before the shootings, Rittenhouse told the Daily Caller’s Richie McGinniss he was there that night to protect a business that he was seen standing near and also “to help people.”

In this Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020, file photo, Kyle Rittenhouse carries a weapon as he walks along Sheridan Road in Kenosha, Wis., during a night of unrest following the weekend police shooting of Jacob Blake. (Adam Rogan/The Journal Times via AP, File)

“If there’s somebody hurt, I’m running into harm’s way," he told McGinniss. "That’s why I have my rifle because I need to protect, obviously, but I also have my med kit.”

KYLE RITTENHOUSE WON'T FACE CHARGES FOR GUN OFFENSE IN ILLINOIS

Shortly after 11:30 p.m., Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and 26-year-old Anthony Huber died as a result of the shooting. Gaige Grosskreutz, who was allegedly holding a handgun at the time, was wounded but survived.

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Rittenhouse’s attorneys said the teen did try to surrender to Kenosha authorities before returning home. He was charged on Aug. 27.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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