WAUKEGAN, ILLINOIS - An Illinois judge on Friday ordered the extradition of a 17-year-old accused in the fatal shooting of two demonstrators in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
The ruling in Kyle Rittenhouse's case came after a hearing at the Lake County Courthouse in Waukegan, Illinois. Defense lawyers sought to persuade Judge Paul Novak to block their client's transfer to Wisconsin to face homicide charges.
Rittenhouse's attorneys argued the teen acted in self-defense on Aug. 25 when he opened fire during unrest after the shooting of a Black man by a white police officer in Kenosha. They said the charges are politically motivated and that extraditing the teenager would violate his constitutional rights.
Lake County prosecutors have said those arguments were irrelevant on the question of extradition and that it's the role of a Wisconsin judge, not one in Illinois, to decide whether there are sufficient grounds for charges.
In Wisconsin, Rittenhouse faces first-degree intentional homicide in the fatally shooting of two protesters, which carries a life prison sentence. He is also charged with attempted intentional homicide in the wounding of a third protester.
Rittenhouse's case has become a rallying point for some conservatives who see him as a patriot who was exercising his right to bear arms during unrest. Others portray him as a domestic terrorist who incited protesters by showing up wielding a rifle.