KENOSHA, Wisconsin (AP) – A California attorney for a 17-year-old from Illinois, accused of killing two people and injuring a third in a night of rioting in Wisconsin, is evading criminal defense after prosecutors have raised ethical concerns the lawyer.
This October 30, 2020 photo courtesy of the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department shows Kyle Rittenhouse in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Rittenhouse is charged with killing two protesters after Jacob Blake was shot dead by police earlier this year in Kenosha, Wisconsin. (Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department via AP)
Los Angeles civil attorney John Pierce was on the front lines in the case of Kyle Rittenhouse, who was indicted in the shootings during the Kenosha protests that summer. Pierce also worked to secure the $ 2 million bail for Rittenhouse, who was tried on Thursday.
Kenosha County’s Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger cited public records and news reports in his motion claiming Pierce had “significant personal financial difficulties” and could not represent Rittenhouse because “money was to be used instead for the defendant.” should be kept confidential “the numerous creditors of Attorney Pierce repay. “
Court: Rittenhouse will be tried for protest shootings
Shortly after the motion was filed on Thursday, Pierce tweeted that he would handle all civil matters for Rittenhouse and continue to raise funds for his defense. He said Wisconsin attorney Mark Richards will handle the criminal case.
Pierce and other Conservatives have portrayed Rittenhouse as a patriot and urged supporters to donate to the #FightBack Foundation to bolster his legal defense.
“Attorney Pierce’s personal financial troubles raise significant ethical concerns, particularly when closely tied to a substantial but unregulated and unreported ‘slush fund’ that will benefit the defendant only,” Binger wrote of the Foundation .
Binger argues that Rittenhouse legal defense donations should be kept confidential, as is required by lawyers in Wisconsin who take guardianship to represent clients.
“It was self-defense”: Kyle Rittenhouse’s mother says her son shouldn’t be in jail
While his legal representation shifts, the case against Rittenhouse is progressing. A Kenosha County court commissioner on Thursday found a likely reason to proceed with the case and dismissed a defense motion to dismiss a reckless endangerment and gun charge against Rittenhouse.
He is also charged with murder and attempted murder because he fatally shot Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber and wounded Gaige Grosskreutz on August 25th. The shooting took place during a night of rioting in Kenosha that followed the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a native black man who had paralyzed injuries.
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