A judge dropped felony charges linked to the purchase of an AR-15-style rifle.
The man who bought Kyle Rittenhouse the AR-15-style rifle he used as a 17-year-old to shoot three people, two fatally, during a 2020 protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, pleaded no contest on Monday to contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Dominick Black’s attorney appeared in Kenosha County Circuit Court to finalize the plea bargain agreement that spares Black from being tried on felony charges stemming from the purchase of the gun. Black, 20, did not attend the hearing.
Black agreed to plead no contest to a non-criminal county ordinance citation of contributing to the delinquency of a minor stemming from his purchase of the semiautomatic weapon. Rittenhouse claimed he used the gun in self-defense when he fatally shot Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, and severely wounded Gaige Grosskreutz, 27.
A Kenosha County jury acquitted Rittenhouse in November of two felony counts of first-degree recklessly endangering safety, first-degree reckless homicide, first-degree intentional homicide and attempted first-degree intentional homicide.
Just hours before closing arguments in the high-profile case, Judge Bruce Schroeder threw out a misdemeanor charge against Rittenhouse of being a minor in possession of a dangerous weapon. Rittenhouse’s attorneys cited an exception in Wisconsin law that allows minors to possess shotguns and rifles as long as they’re not short-barreled.
“I do believe it is a serious offense to purchase a firearm for someone who is not legally able to do so. Our office will continue to vigorously prosecute those offenders,” prosecutor Thomas Binger said during Monday’s hearing. “And it is still our office’s position that 17-year-olds should not go armed with firearms.”
Binger credited Black for cooperating with police and prosecutors in the Rittenhouse case and testifying for the prosecution during the trial.
“He provided a statement early on, waived his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and testified at the trial truthfully. And I want to give him credit for those actions because those are responsible and appropriate actions to accept responsibility and to cooperate,” Binger said.
As part of the plea deal, Black agreed to pay a fine of $2,000, which Binger described as a “form of punishment and a deterrence” to anyone thinking of purchasing such as firearm for a minor.
Black’s attorney, Anthony Cotton, declined to make a statement at the hearing other than to say “this is our agreement.”