Kyle Rittenhouse formally pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from the shooting of three protesters at an anti-racism demonstration in August.
The 18-year-old is accused of killing two protesters and injuring a third after opening fire at a protest following the police shooting of Jacob Blake.
The plea comes as the city of Kenosha prepares for the district attorney's decision of whether to charge the police officers involved in Blake's shooting.
Rittenhouse's trial is scheduled to begin in late March.
Kyle Rittenhouse has formally pleaded not guilty at an arraignment hearing Tuesday afternoon ahead of a trial scheduled to begin in late March.
The 18-year-old appeared at the hearing along with his attorney Marck Richards over Zoom. Jury selection is scheduled to begin on March 29, with another pre-trial hearing scheduled for March 10.
Kenosha County prosecutors charged Rittenhouse with two counts of homicide, along with several other crimes, after accusing him of shooting and killing Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber, and injuring Gaige Grosskreutz, during an anti-racism protest in late August following the police shooting of Jacob Blake. Rittenhouse's lawyers say he acted in self-defense.
Rittenhouse was initially arrested at his home in Illinois before being extradited back to Wisconsin. He was released on a $2 million bail in late November.
The arraignment hearing comes as Kenosha residents prepare for Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Gravely's decision of whether to charge police officers for Blake's shooting.
Kenosha Police Officer Rusten Sheskey, a white man, shot Blake, who is Black, seven times as he entered his car during a domestic dispute. The assault left Blake paralyzed and set off the demonstrations in which Rittenhouse shot the protesters.
Rittenhouse has become something of an icon on the right since killing the protesters. His mother has sold "Free Kyle" bikinis, crop tops, and sports bras, along with other merchandise, to raise money for his legal defense. Until recently, Rittenhouse was represented by L. Lin Wood, a prominent Republican attorney and conspiracy theorist who has also sought to help President Donald Trump overturn his loss in the 2020 election.
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