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Pre-Trial Hearing In Wis. Protest Shooting Scheduled For Kyle Rittenhouse


Eighteen-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse will be in a Wisconsin courtroom today. He is charged with killing two people and injuring another during last summer's racial justice demonstrations in Kenosha. Today's hearing will set the stage for his upcoming trial. Here's Wisconsin Public Radio's Corrinne Hess.

CORRINNE HESS, BYLINE: Kyle Rittenhouse's case has become a national flashpoint. He's been out on bail since November, when his $2 million bond was paid by conservative fundraisers. Some have condemned him for killing two men and injuring a third at a demonstration following the police shooting of Jacob Blake last summer. Others, including former President Donald Trump, have rallied behind him. His trial could begin later this month, although motions could be filed today to delay the trial. Since Rittenhouse has been out on bond, he's been spotted in a Wisconsin bar with members of the extremist group The Proud Boys, which played a critical role in storming the Capitol. Attorney Kimberley Motley represents Gaige Grosskreutz, who was shot in the arm, allegedly by Rittenhouse.

KIMBERLEY MOTLEY: His behavior has not - you know, has not been appropriate. You know, it'll be interesting to see how this trial moves forward.

HESS: Late last year, Rittenhouse failed to update his address, a condition of his bail. The DA's office pushed to have his bond increased, but a Kenosha Circuit Court judge denied the request last month. The Kenosha County district attorney would not comment on the case. Robert Barnes is a California-based attorney on Rittenhouse's legal team. He describes his client as a blue-collar high school senior who wants to become a nurse like his mother.

ROBERT BARNES: For a teenager to be under this kind of pressure is quite extraordinary for someone who has never experienced the criminal justice process before and be the public target of so much hate.

HESS: Barnes says his family is in a safe house known only to the court. Motley says parts of the trial will be challenging for Grosskreutz and the families of the men Rittenhouse allegedly killed. But they want a reckoning.

MOTLEY: He should be accountable, held accountable for his actions. And we hope that, at trial, that the jurors that are picked will look at all the evidence as presented for them, and we're hopeful that they will find him guilty.

HESS: Jury selection for Kyle Rittenhouse's trial could begin later this month.

For NPR News, I'm Corrinne Hess in Milwaukee. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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