Attorneys for Kyle Rittenhouse bemoaned an Illinois judge’s ruling ordering the 17-year-old accused murderer’s extradition to Wisconsin, where he faces homicide charges. The defense lawyers claimed their client was deprived of his statutory right to appeal the decision.
In a series of Friday tweets, Rittenhouse’s criminal defense attorney John Pierce–whose law firm has represented President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page–said his client’s swift removal from Illinois following the ruling from Lake County Circuit Judge Paul B. Novak constituted a violation of his civil rights.
“While we have great respect for Judge Novak, we obviously and strongly disagree with today’s decision. Kyle has an absolute statutory right to appeal the denial of his habeas corpus petition pursuant to 725 ILCS 225/10,” Pierce wrote. “We will be filing his notice of appeal immediately and pursuing Kyle’s righteous cause with swiftness and vigor in the Illinois Court of Appeal. We will never surrender. Kyle will be set free and cleared of all charges.”
According to the Associated Press, Lake County Sheriff’s deputies picked up Rittenhouse “immediately after Novak issued the ruling at the courthouse” and drove him five miles to the Wisconsin-Illinois border where he was handed over to Kenosha County deputies.
Rittenhouse’s attorneys argued that the paperwork authorizing Rittenhouse’s extradition was “fatally flawed,” claiming there was “insufficient evidence” that the complaint was sworn before a magistrate judge as required by Illinois law and alleging that the arrest paperwork contained “false statements” and was missing a “required signature.”
But Judge Novak said the defendant was asking the court to “ignore binding Illinois law and apply the federal precedent that ‘allow courts to consider claims that a state’ substantive conduct in undertaking a decision to extradite would violate the constitutional rights of the alleged fugitive.’”
“This Illinois trial court shall not and will not forgo current settled Illinois law to apply the federal rule as requested by Rittenhouse,” Novak wrote. “According to Illinois law, this Illinois court shall not re-evaluate probable cause determined by a Wisconsin court.”
Rittenhouse, who admitted to shooting and killing 26-year-old Anthony Huber and 36-year-old Joseph Rosenbaum on Aug. 25 during civil unrest sparked by the police shooting of Jacob Blake, is charged in Wisconsin as an adult. He faces six criminal counts: 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 the age of 18. The first five are felonies; the weapon possession charge is a misdemeanor. He and his attorneys have maintained that the shootings were an act of self-defense.
“New law made today. Statutory appellate rights do not exist for you in Illinois if your name is spelled Kyle Rittenhouse. Onward to Wisconsin, tacking on so many future civil rights claims it is difficult to describe,” Pierce wrote on Friday evening, though it was unclear exactly what he was referring to.
Attorney Lin Wood, who has represented Rittenhouse in non-criminal matters, also claimed his client was deprived of his right to appeal by the “erroneous ruling.”
Read Novak’s full ruling below:
[image via ABC7 screengrab]
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