The attorneys representing Kyle Rittenhouse, the Illinois teenager who allegedly shot three people during riots in Kenosha earlier this week, announced Thursday that they have set up a fund to help cover the teen’s legal defense.
Rittenhouse, 17, was charged by Kenosha County prosecutors on Thursday with one count of first-degree reckless homicide, one count of first-degree homicide, two counts of recklessly endangering safety, one count of attempted homicide, and one count of possessing a dangerous weapon by a person under 18, according to court records.
The teenager was arrested Wednesday, the day after the shooting, in Antioch, Illinois, where his place of residence is listed.
Rittenhouse, who is being held without bond, is due to appear in court in the city for an extradition hearing on Friday.
Lin Wood, the attorney for high school student Nicholas Sandmann, announced Thursday night that a legal team from the Texas non-profit #FightBack Foundation, Inc. will be part of Rittenhouse’s defense team. The team will be led by John Pierce, according to Wood.
(1) Thanks to ALL Freedom Loving Americans who responded to requests for contact information on Kyle Rittenhouse. We have connected with Kyle’s family & help is on the way. Kyle will have excellent legal representation. We owe him a legal defense.
— Lin Wood (@LLinWood) August 27, 2020
“Thanks to ALL Freedom Loving Americans who responded to requests for contact information on Kyle Rittenhouse,” Wood tweeted. “We have connected with Kyle’s family & help is on the way. Kyle will have excellent legal representation. We owe him a legal defense.”
“Many others will need your help in coming days. Stay strong. Continue to speak truth. Continue to demand justice under our Constitution. Continue to be fearless,” Wood continued. “Most important of all, continue to pray for your fellow citizens. Pray for our president. Pray for our country. And always, always, always #FightBack. We will not go quietly in the night. We are Americans.”
The team is bolstered by local and national lawyers, he added on Twitter, noting that the #FightBack Foundation will be accepting donations in Rittenhouse’s fight for “justice.” It comes after GoFundMe removed multiple fundraisers for the teen.
Wood told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he helped form the foundation with “a mission to protect and defend our Constitution on many fronts.”
“Kyle’s defense is one of those fronts,” he said.
A recently launched website for the foundation states that it brings lawsuits “to check the lies of the left.”
“The radical left has taken over mainstream media and they don’t care about truth. They will lie, cancel, and defame anyone who stands in their way,” the website reads. “But the truth still matters. And that’s why we bring lawsuits to stop the left’s lies. To defend the truth. To defend freedom.”
Wood added that the foundation’s fundraiser is the only approved fund for the teen’s legal defense.
“Please be wary of any other efforts to raise money for Kyle’s defense,” he said on Twitter.
Pierce will appear with Rittenhouse at an extradition hearing in Lake County Circuit Court in Illinois on Friday.
Zachary Stieber and Reuters contributed to this report.