MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Kyle Rittenhouse
, the Illinois man accused of killing two people
during the chaotic protests that followed the police shooting
of Jacob Blake
, was set to appear in court for the first time on Friday.
protocols in the Kenosha County courthouse have required Rittenhouse to appear in court via video from his attorney's office since he was charged in August, but those restrictions have been lifted, and he was expected to appear in person for a mid-morning status conference.
Attorneys and prosecutors were expected to work
out scheduling details ahead of Rittenhouse's November trial
, which should be a routine proceeding. He is charged with homicide and reckless endangerment.
Prosecutors say Rittenhouse, then 17, shot and killed two people and injured a third in August after traveling from his home in Antioch, Illinois, to Kenosha, which was in the midst of several nights of sometimes violent demonstrations when Officer Rusten Sheskey shot Blake, paralyzing him from the waist down.
Rittenhouse and his attorneys claim he went to Kenosha to protect businesses. Video shows Rittenhouse, armed with an assault rifle, shooting Joseph Rosenbaum, Anthony Huber, and Gaige Grosskreutz. Rosenbaum and Huber died, but Grosskreutz survived.
Cellphone footage shows Rittenhouse, who is white, walking past police lines with his hands up and his rifle still slung over his shoulder, despite protesters yelling that he had just shot people.
He surrendered to Antioch police several hours later, claiming that the three men had attacked him and that he had fired in self-defense.
He has since become a polarizing figure in the national debate over police brutality
, with conservatives hailing him as a symbol for gun
rights and praising him for standing up to anti-police protesters, even going so far as to raise $2 million to cover his bail, while others claim he heightened tensions by walking around the protest with a rifle.
In court documents, Rittenhouse's attorney, Mark Richards, stated that Rittenhouse and his family have relocated to an undisclosed safe house due to multiple threats.