By TODD RICHMOND
MADISON, Wis. (AP) – The man who bought an AR-15-like rifle for Kyle Rittenhouse on Monday refused to contest a reduced charge for having contributed to a minor’s crime in a deal with prosecutors allowing him to avoid jail.
Kenosha County Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder accepted Dominick Black’s plea during a six-minute hearing. Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger dropped two crimes of intent to supply a dangerous weapon to a minor as part of the deal.
Contributing to a minor’s crime is a misdemeanor punishable by up to nine months in prison, but Binger reduced the charge to a non-criminal violation of the county court order. Under the agreement, Black will pay a $ 2,000 fine. Each crime would have been punished with up to six years in prison and a fine of $ 10,000.
Rittenhouse used the rifle to shoot three people and kill two during a tumultuous night of protests in Kenosha in 2020 over the shooting of a black man, Jacob Blake, by a white police officer. A jury acquitted Rittenhouse of murder and other charges in November.
Binger told Schroeder he did not think he could move forward with the charges against Black, who testified against Rittenhouse. Binger noted, among other things, that during Rittenhouse’s trial, Schroeder sided with defense attorneys who argued that Wisconsin law prohibits minors from possessing short-range rifles and short-range shotguns, but allowing them to possess long weapons.
“In these circumstances, it does not appear appropriate to proceed with these charges against Mr. Black, given the court’s legal decision as well as Mr. Black’s cooperation and the jury’s decision in the Rittenhouse case,” Binger said.
Black’s attorney, Tony Cotton, said nothing more than confirming the deal. He said in an email to the Associated Press after the hearing that “justice was done.”
“The Office Attorney’s Office did the right thing by agreeing to dismiss the charges against our client, especially given that a jury found Rittenhouse innocent,” Cotton said.
Black was 18 and dated Rittenhouse’s sister when he bought an AR-15-like rifle for Rittenhouse in May 2020. Rittenhouse in Antioch, Illinois, was 17. Black testified during Rittenhouse’s that he bought the rifle so he and Rittenhouse could shoot and hunt on a friend’s property in northern Wisconsin.
Three months later, in August 2020, Rittenhouse used the rifle to shoot Joseph Rosenbaum, Anthony Huber and Gaige Grosskreutz. Rosenbaum and Huber died of their wounds. Rittenhouse is white, as are all the people he shot.
Rittenhouse claimed he shot in self-defense after the men attacked him. On the last day of his trial, Schroeder dismissed an accusation of being a minor in possession of a firearm.
Binger told Schroeder on Monday that he expected the judge would have dismissed the charges against Black based on that decision. He also told Schroeder that he did not agree with his interpretation of state law and suggested that the district attorney’s office could appeal this decision.
District Attorney Michael Graveley did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The rifle was marked as evidence in Rittenhouse’s trial, but it is unclear what will become of it. Rittenhouse’s attorney, Mark Richards, said Rittenhouse wants it destroyed. Graveley also did not respond to a message asking about what would be done with it.
Find the AP’s full coverage of the lawsuit against Kyle Rittenhouse at: https://apnews.com/hub/kyle-rittenhouse
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