Law enforcement experts are perplexed by Wisconsin’s attorney’s request for an arrest warrant and bond increase for murder suspect Kyle Rittenhouse, which is under further investigation in his high case.
At a bizarre turn on Wednesday, it seemed Lawyers do not know where they are Rittenhouse, 18, raised questions as to why the Rittenhouse was not closely monitored after lawyers failed to notify the court of the address of a “safe home” where he allegedly lived.
“I do not understand why you would not tell the district attorney and the police the whereabouts of a murder defendant charged with first-degree murder,” said Jim Kavanagh, a retired special agent of the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, tobacco, gun and ammunition.
Returnhouse was charged with two counts of murder while protesting the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha last summer.
The Kenosha District Attorney’s Office on Wednesday charged Returnhouse with violating the terms of his bond by failing to notify the court of his altered address and asked the court to issue a warrant for his arrest and increase his bond to 000 to 200,000. It also asked the court to order the Returnhouse to renew its address immediately.
Returnhouse was released from Kenosha County Jail on a $ 2 million bond in November after donations were made to his legal defense fund, mostly by right-wing activists and conservative celebrities.
Mark Richards, Rittenhouse’s attorney, alleges that police instructed his former attorney, John Pierce, not to provide an updated address.
“At the conclusion of the documents relating to Kyle’s release, Attorney Pierce was notified directly by a top member of the Kenosha Police Department not to provide the address of the Returnhouse Safe House as there were numerous threats against Kyle and his family,” Richards said in response to the motion.
The attorney for Returnhouse did not immediately respond to a request for comment by phone or email Thursday.
Kenosha police denied the request on Thursday, saying “the captain did not deliver” when a police officer spoke with Captain Pierce about the security concerns raised by Mr Pierce around Kyle Rittenhouse’s release from custody.
Glenn Kirschner, a former federal lawyer and NBC News legal analyst, said: “It’s unusual to lie in court about where a client lives. There’s no reason to tell me that someone else lied about it.
Returnhouse’s attorney on Wednesday contacted the attorney’s assistant district attorney in November to discuss providing a new address if the attorneys agreed to file the seal, but the district attorney’s office refused.
Download NBC News app News and PoliticsS
Cavanaugh said it was “unusual to deal with a defendant in a safe home” and that he could understand why Returnhouse’s defense did not want to disclose the address, adding that it was a reasonable request to ensure his return to court in Returnhouse. However, he said officers and prosecutors should “know” where a murder defendant is, especially if he receives alleged threats from the security of the Returnhouse.
Kirschner, when he was a lawyer, informed the court of his whereabouts of a defendant. As a simple rule, he said: “Do not lie in court.”
“There are a number of appropriate ways to take care of the circumstances in the Returnhouse case that do not involve lying to the judge,” he said.