This ticked off prosecutors who then, in an apparent game of gotcha, sent a letter to Rittenhouse's last known address, only to find out he no longer lives there. Prosecutors then asked the judge to put Rittenhouse back in jail and increase the bail amount, while also ordering Rittenhouse to reveal where he's living, to not consume alcohol and to not associate with white supremacists.
On Thursday, the judge rejected the request to put Rittenhouse in jail or increase the bail because Rittenhouse's attorney already told them several times that Rittenhouse had moved for fear of his safety and because such punishment was extreme:
But his former lawyers had been clear that even before posting the $2 million bail in November, that Rittenhouse's family had left their Antioch, Illinois, apartment, citing death threats. After release, the lawyer repeatedly said Rittenhouse, his mother and sisters were staying at an undisclosed location.
At a Zoom hearing Thursday, Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger admitted that he was aware earlier that Rittenhouse was staying at a hotel or some other location, but that he only realized last month that his family had permanently left their Antioch address.
Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder noted that Rittenhouse has appeared when he was required to since he was freed on bail in November, and has not been accused of committing another serious offense, only of failing to update his address. Schroeder said many defendants out on bail make that error and are told to correct it, not arrested and hit with an increased bail.
However, the judge did order Rittenhouse to disclose his location, under seal, to the court and to the Sheriff's Office, but not to the prosecutors. The judge also ordered Rittenhouse not to consume alcohol and stay away from his fellow white supremacists.
The real problem is that Rittenhouse should not have been out on bail in the first place. Now we have a white supremacist who allegedly killed two people and injured a third, running around free, and in an unknown location. That's not exactly keeping the community safe.
In related news, Dominick Black, Rittenhouse's buddy who illegally bought the gun for Rittenhouse to use to kill people, has lost his attorney:
Dominick Black, 19, appeared by Zoom for arraignment, but the hearing was reset to late March after his attorney, Robert Keller of Racine, moved to withdraw from the case. Keller declined to discuss why he left the case.
Black told the judge he didn't know when he'd have a new lawyer, but that he was planning to contact the Office of the State Public Defender.
The attorney didn't explain why he was quitting, but given that Black is now seeking a public defender would indicate that he is no longer able to afford paying his legal fees and now wants the public to fund his lawyer.