KENOSHA, Wis. — The judge at Kyle Rittenhouse’s murder trial has dismissed a count of possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under 18. The charge is only a misdemeanor, but it had appeared to be among the likeliest to net a conviction for prosecutors.
There’s no dispute that Rittenhouse was 17 when he carried an AR-style semi-automatic rifle on the streets of Kenosha in August 2020 and used it to kill two men and wound a third.
But the defense argued that Wisconsin’s statute had an exception that could be read to clear Rittenhouse. That exception involves whether or not a rifle or shotgun is short-barreled.
Judge Bruce Schroeder dismissed the charge after prosecutors conceded in court Monday that Rittenhouse’s rifle was not short-barreled.
EXPLAINER: What charges does Kyle Rittenhouse face?
MADISON, Wis. — Kyle Rittenhouse faces multiple charges for shooting three men, killing two, during a protest against police brutality in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in August 2020.
The homicide charges include one count of reckless homicide, one count of intentional homicide and one of attempted intentional homicide.
A legal expert says the difference in the charges is that prosecutors aren’t alleging that Rittenhouse intended to kill the first man he shot.
But the charges in the other two shootings allege that Rittenhouse intended to shoot those men.