Bail for Illinois teen charged in Kenosha killings set at $2 million

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FILE PHOTO: Kyle Rittenhouse listens to defense attorney
FILE PHOTO: Kyle Rittenhouse listens to defense attorney

(Reuters) - A Wisconsin court on Friday set bail at $2 million for an Illinois teenager accused of fatally shooting two protesters and wounding a third during demonstrations in August in Wisconsin.

It was the first court appearance in Wisconsin for Kyle Rittenhouse since he was ordered extradited from Illinois on Friday.

Presiding over the hearing, Kenosha County Commissioner Loren Keating said that a "very significant cash bond is necessary to assure this defendant's appearance in court, as the court does believe that he is a flight risk."

Rittenhouse's attorney, Mark Richards, argued for lower bail, saying that his client's unsuccessful attempt to turn himself in to Kenosha police during the street disturbances where the killings took place, suggest he would not flee.

Rittenhouse, 17, returned to his home in Antioch, Illinois, that night and was taken into custody in Lake County soon after.

Victims' advocates, including John Huber, the father of Anthony Huber, one of the people Rittenhouse is charged with killing, argued for higher bail, saying that militia groups are raising money for him and would help him escape.

Should he be released, Keating also barred Rittenhouse from possessing any weapons.

Wearing an orange face mask during the online hearing, Rittenhouse said only "yes, sir" and "yes," when Keating asked him a number of procedural questions. His next hearing was set for Dec. 3. He has not yet entered a plea.

Rittenhouse was charged with first-degree reckless homicide and five other criminal counts related to the shootings, which occurred on Aug. 25 in Kenosha during civil unrest sparked by the police shooting of Jacob Blake.

(Reporting by Peter Szekely; Editing by Sandra Maler)