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Kyle Rittenhouse makes first court appearance; his attorney fights extradition to Wisconsin

'Issues of some complexity, frankly that have not arisen in the country for some time'

Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old from Illinois accused of fatally shooting two men during protests in Wisconsin last month, made his first court appearance on Friday. Rittenhouse's attorneys said they plan to fight extradition back to Wisconsin.

Rittenhouse, wearing a blue face mask and black sweatshirt on video, appeared remotely via Zoom at a Lake County Circuit Court hearing in Illinois on Friday morning. Rittenhouse was calling from a juvenile detention center in Vernon Hills, located north of Chicago, where he has been held since he surrendered to authorities.

Rittenhouse did not speak during the hearing other than saying "Good morning, your honor" to the judge.

Rittenhouse's attorney, John Pierce, who was also appearing remotely, said he intends to fight extradition. "We intend to challenge extradition by writ of habeas corpus," Pierce said. Pierce added that he would need 30 days to prepare a writ of habeas corpus, according to the Star Tribune.

"There is, as you probably know, there's an immense amount of video evidence and we really do need to be able to review that along with our client," Pierce told Lake County Judge Paul Novak. He added that the extradition would involve "issues of some complexity, frankly that have not arisen in the country for some time."

Judge Novak gave the defense 14 days to prepare legal filings ahead of an Oct. 9 hearing.

Mike Nerheim, the Lake County state's attorney, said that Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) had signed a warrant to return Rittenhouse to Wisconsin after a request was made by Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D). Nerheim said he had received the warrant on Friday morning.

"We're ready to proceed," Nerheim said.

Rittenhouse has been charged as an adult charged in Kenosha County on two counts of first-degree intentional homicide and one count of attempted intentional homicide. He was also charged with recklessly endangering the safety of two other victims and possessing a weapon while under the age of 18. If convicted of first-degree homicide, Rittenhouse faces life in prison.

Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, were both shot and killed during riots in Kenosha on Aug. 25, sparked by the police shooting of Jacob Blake. Gaige Grosskreutz, 26, who appeared to be armed with a handgun, was shot and wounded.

Rittenhouse's lawyers argue that he acted in self-defense.

Earlier this week, Rittenhouse's legal team released previously unseen footage from the night of the shootings.

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