Update: Judge dismisses underage weapons charge in Kyle Rittenhouse murder trial

Update: Judge dismisses underage weapons charge in Kyle Rittenhouse murder trial



The judge presiding over the double homicide trial of Kyle Rittenhouse has dismissed one of the counts against him, a misdemeanor charge for possessing a dangerous weapon (an AR-15-style rifle) under age 18.



A trial for Mr. Rittenhouse, who faces five felony charges related to killing two men and injuring another in the aftermath of police violence protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, is drawing to a close, with closing arguments by both legal teams with a verdict to follow.



On Monday November 15, Judge Bruce Schroeder dismissed a key charge before the jury heard closing remarks, after several attempts by defence attorneys to remove it, on a technicality.



Judge Schroeder argued that the charge, which is punishable by up to nine months in prison, was drawn from poorly and confusingly written Wisconsin open-carry law, and determined that the shorter barrel size of the rifle used by Mr. Rittenhouse despite being underage at the time, meaning that he did not violate it.







He believed the jury could only convict if prosecutors showed that the length of the barrel of the rifle used by Mr. Rittenhouse fell within the legal dimensions for a short-barreled rifle – as under 16 inches or an overall length of less than 26 inches. The AR-15-style Smith & Wesson M & P 15 rifle used by Mr. Rittenhouse is 35 inches long, with a barrel length of 16 inches.


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