It is “extremely unusual for a defendant facing a charge of first-degree intentional homicide in Kenosha County to post cash bond and be released from custody pending trial,” prosecutors said in the filed motion. “Rarely does our community see accused murderers roaming about freely.” Prosecutors added that since Rittenhouse’s bond was paid by a “dubious Internet fundraising campaign,” he “has no financial stake in the bond” and no incentive to cooperate since “he is already facing the most serious possible criminal charges and life in prison.”
While prosecutors have no idea where Rittenhouse is, his defense team admitted that they not only know where he is but have no intention of revealing the address. According to The Washington Post, Rittenhouse’s lawyer, Mark Richards, confirmed Wednesday that his client “has stayed in constant contact” with his lawyers and that they knew where he was staying. Richards claimed that Rittenhouse was in a “safe house” due to death threats to him and his family.
He even alleged that when Rittenhouse was released from jail in November, a police official told him and other defense attorneys not to provide the safe house address—essentially admitting he intentionally wrote the wrong address on court papers. Additionally, Richard’s motion claimed that an attorney working with Richards, Corey Chirafisi, asked Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger via email on Nov. 30 if he could keep the safe house address sealed, but Binger refused. Prosecutors have denied these claims.
“It is noteworthy that the State has only now decided to file a motion to increase bond in this case, despite having corresponded with Attorney Chirafisi regarding the change in Kyle’s residence over two months ago,” Richards wrote.
The safe house address has now been given to the judge in a separate motion in which Richards has requested it to be sealed.
The Wednesday motion comes less than a month after Rittenhouse’s bail conditions were modified on Jan 22. Daily Kos reported that prosecutors suggested modifying Rittenhouse’s bail conditions after he was spotted at a bar drinking with his mother and members of the Proud Boys. While Rittenhouse is too young to legally drink, underage alcohol consumption is allowed in Wisconsin in the presence of a guardian.
As a result of his bar appearance, Rittenhouse was not only barred from drinking alcohol but prohibited from associating with known hate groups. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Proud Boys is a designated hate group. The January incident was the last time the teen was spotted in public.
The real question, though, is if Rittenhouse was so afraid of death threats since being released in November, why was he associating with known hate group members and throwing up white supremacist signs last month?