A court commissioner has rejected a motion to dismiss charges against the man alleged to have provided the AR-15-style rifle that authorities say 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse used in shooting three men during the Kenosha unrest, killing two of them.
Dominick Black, 19, of Kenosha, is charged with two felony counts of intentionally selling a gun to a minor causing death.
At a preliminary hearing Thursday in Kenosha County Circuit Court, Black’s attorney Robert Keller argued that the charges against Black should be dismissed, arguing that the criminal complaint outlining probable cause was deficient. Commissioner Larry Keating rejected that argument, allowing the charges to stand.
After charges were upheld, Keller argued that the state should not be able to file multiple counts of the same charge against Black. “The state is trying to separate one act into two counts,” Keller said.
Kenosha County Assistant District Attorney Jason Zapf argued that the two counts were appropriate given that the rifle Black is alleged to have purchased for Rittenhouse was used in the Aug. 25 shootings. Keating also rejected the motion to dismiss the multiple counts. He also found there was probable cause to bind Black over for trial.
Gun purchased up north
Black is alleged to have bought the AR-15 style rifle for Rittenhouse in April at a hardware store in Ladysmith, Wis. Because he was underage, Rittenhouse could not legally purchase the rifle. Black told police that Rittenhouse gave him the money to purchase the gun, which was later kept at Black’s stepfather’s house in Kenosha.
At Thursday’s preliminary hearing, Kenosha Police Detective Ben Antaramian testified that he interviewed Black for about an hour in Antioch, Ill., shortly after Rittenhouse, who resides in Antioch, was taken into custody, and then interviewed him again in Kenosha on Nov. 6, the day he was taken into custody.
Antaramian testified that Black said Rittenhouse was with Black in Ladysmith when he bought the gun. “It was handed over to him (Rittenhouse) and they later shot the rifle on property near Ladysmith,” Antaramian said. The detective said Black told him that Black and Rittenhouse went target shooting with the rifle the day it was purchased.
Rittenhouse picked up the gun from Black’s stepfather’s house the day of the shootings in Kenosha.
Antaramian said Black gave conflicting statements about how Rittenhouse had come to take the gun on the day of the shootings. “He skirted around the issue,” Antaramian said. “But explained that Kyle kind of took it without him looking and he made no attempt to stop Kyle.”
Events of Aug. 25
Rittenhouse and Black, both armed with rifles, went to protests in Kenosha on Aug. 25. Multiple people calling themselves militia members came to the city that day following two days of protest and rioting following the shooting of Jacob Blake by a Kenosha Police officer.
That night Rittenhouse shot three men, killing two. He is charged with first-degree intentional homicide for the death of Anthony Huber of Silver Lake, first-degree reckless homicide for the death of Joseph Rosenbaum of Kenosha and attempted first-degree homicide for shooting and injuring Gaige Grosskreutz of West Allis. Rittenhouse’s supporters argue he was acting in self defense and should not have been charged.
According to court documents, Black and Rittenhouse have said they were hired by the owner of the Car Source car lot to protect the business during the protests. The main lot of the business had been destroyed by arson the first night of protests. The owner of Car Source has said in multiple interviews that he did not ask anyone to protect his property.
After the shootings, Black reportedly drove Rittenhouse back to Antioch. He stayed at the Rittenhouse family’s apartment when Rittenhouse went with his mother to turn himself in to Antioch Police hours after the shooting.
Rittenhouse is being held on $2 million bond.
Black was released on a $2,500 bond. He is next expected to appear in court for an arraignment Jan. 13.