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Kyle Rittenhouse: Teen charged with fatally shooting two people in Kenosha hires law firm that once represented Rudy Giuliani

The teen's firm is also using a non-profit to raise funds for his defence 

Danielle Zoellner
New York
Friday 28 August 2020 15:21 BST
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Tucker Carlson defends Kenosha vigilante shooter

The 17-year-old arrested and charged for the alleged killing of two people during a Kenosha, Wisconsin, protest has retained a law firm that previously represented Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani.

John Pierce of Pierce Bainbridge told Reuters that he and would represent Kyle Rittenhouse of Antioch, Illinois, after he was arrested for shooting three people, two of whom died, on Tuesday evening.

The lawyer tweeted on Thursday that he would be joined with a "SEAL team" of defence, as they seek to "obtain justice" for Rittenhouse following his arrest. Mr Pierce will appear with his client at his extradition hearing in Lake County Circuit Court in Illinois on Friday.

It was also confirmed that the legal team would be using #FightBack Foundation, Inc., a Texas non-profit Mr Pierce created with Atlanta attorney L Lin Wood, to raise money for Rittenhouse's defence.

"Thanks to ALL Freedom Loving Americans who responded to requests for contact information on Kyle Rittenhouse," attorney L Lin Wood posted on Twitter. "We have connected with Kyle's family & help is on the way."

"Kyle will have excellent legal representation. We owe him a legal defence," Mr Wood added. "We will obtain justice for Kyle."

The lawyer also confirmed the #FightBack Foundation was the only current fund people should be donating to if they wished to support Rittenhouse.

Protests following the police shooting of Jacob Blake turned violent in Kenosha on Tuesday evening.

A gunman, accused by Kenosha County police to be Rittenhouse, fired gunshots in the middle of the street amid protest. The shots killed two people and injured one person.

Video footage then showed someone who looks to be Rittenhouse walking away from the scene as protesters yelled at police that the juvenile had just shot multiple people. Police in cars are seen letting Rittenhouse walk by them as they drove to go attend to the people who were shot.

In an interview with a Daily Caller reporter prior to the shooting, Rittenhouse was asked why he was armed in Kenosha.

"So people are getting injured and our job is to protect this business," Rittenhouse said. "And part of my job is to also help people. If there is somebody hurt, I'm running into harm's way. That's why I have my rifle because I need to protect myself, obviously. I also have my med kit."

Kenosha County police has since filed multiple charges against the 17-year-old after he travelled 20 miles from his town of Antioch, Illinois, to Kenosha to attend the protests – all while brandishing an AR-15.

The charges accuse Rittenhouse of first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless homicide, two counts of first-degree recklessly endangering safety, attempted first-degree intentional homicide and possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under 18.

If convicted of the first-degree intentional homicide charge as an adult, Rittenhouse could face a life sentence in prison. Wisconsin does not have the death penalty.

Rittenhouse, who was arrested as a juvenile in Illinois on Wednesday after he fled Kenosha, will attend court on Friday where it will be decided if he will be extradited to Wisconsin.

He has been held in jail without bond since his arrest on Wednesday.

Reuters contributed to this report

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