Kenosha County Circuit Court Bruce Schroeder will have to decide who is the rightful owner is of a Smith and Wesson M&P 15 rifle. This is the rifle used by Kyle Rittenhouse on August 25, 2020 to kill two assailants and wound a third. Schroeder will also be asked to decide if sporting rifle will be released at all. According to court documents filed this afternoon, ADA T. Clair Binger (D) and DA Michael Graveley (D) are not releasing the AR-15 Rifle to Rittenhouse after being asked by his attorney, Mark Richards.
Prosecutors and police can keep evidence in their possession, only if it was used in the commission of a crime. In this case, neither Rittenhouse, nor Dominick Black were proven to have committed any crimes. Both of their criminal cases were dropped. Wisconsin State law is clear:
968.20 Return of property frozen or seized.
(b) If the seized property is a dangerous weapon or ammunition, the property shall not be returned to any person who committed a crime involving the use of the dangerous weapon or the ammunition.
Along with the gun, Rittenhouse also wants his clothes, ammunition, and iPhone to be returned.
Rittenhouse is entitled to a hearing within 20 days of today’s date. During the trial, testimony was given by Rittenhouse and his friend Dominick Black. Both said that Black purchased the rifle with Rittenhouse’s money but would be transferred to Rittenhouse when he turned 18. Rittenhouse is now 19. Rittenhouse had previously stated that he would ask the Kenosha Police Department to destroy the rifle. When reached today by phone, Rittenhouse spokesman David Hancock was asked what Rittehouse wanted to do with the gun if he has it returned to him and he responded frankly – “Destroyed.”
This isn’t the first time T. Clair Binger refused to return a gun to someone he lost a case against. Even though Binger told a podcast host that he has a concealed carry license and caries a gun, he in universally known as being a strong gun-control supporter. Guy Smith, was driving his 16-wheeler through Kenosha on May 6, 2016 when pulled over by a state trooper. The Trooper noticed a holstered gun on the floor of the sleeper cabin. The trooper, after conferring with the Kenosha DA’s office arrested Smith. They told the Trooper that they would charge him. Kenosha DA Michael Graveley (D) personally filed the charges against Smith. T. Clair Binger was assigned to prosecute Smith. Wisconsin Carry, Inc paid for Smith’s attorney who flew to Kenosha for trial. The morning of trial, T. Clair Binger dismissed the charge after much money was spent on travel arrangements and attorneys fees. T. Clair Binger then refused to return Smith’s gun. Only after a long process was the gun returned.
If Schroeder rules in Rittenhouse’s favor, the DA’s office will be forced to release it. We reached out to Kenosha DA Mike Graveley and ADA T. Clair Binger to find out why they aren’t releasing the gun. They did not respond.