The next legal battle for Kyle Rittenhouse may be with his former attorneys.
Two lawyers who briefly worked on Rittenhouse’s case — and helped raise $2 million to help get him released from jail as he awaited criminal charges — want their cash back, but the now acquitted teen’s family is fighting the move.
The 18-year-old was cleared of all charges Friday stemming from the shooting of three people — two fatally — during Black Lives Matter protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last summer. Rittenhouse, of Antioch, Illinois, convinced the jury he acted in self-defense.
Rittenhouse was released from jail while he was waiting for his trial in November after a $2 million bond was posted by his former attorney John Pierce, with a cashier’s check from his law firm Pierce Bainbridge. Former child actor Ricky Schroder and My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell were credited with donations that enabled Rittenhouse’s release.
Bond in Wisconsin legally goes back to whoever posted it after the trial is over, which would appear to be Pierce’s law firm.
A second attorney who briefly worked on the case, L. Lin Wood, said the funds were provided by his FightBack Foundation and should be returned to the organization, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
In February, the Rittenhouse family fired Pierce, and have since complained that he and Wood diverted money meant to help Rittenhouse.
“I suspect there will be a fight over that,” Rittenhouse’s current attorney, Mark Richards said, according to the Kenosha News. “John Pierce is the person who posted the bond. All that money was raised on behalf of Kyle. Lin Wood and FightBack say they are entitled to it.
“There was half a million dollars I think that came directly from [Kyle’s mother] Wendy Rittenhouse from money she raised,” he continued. “So there’s going to be a fight over that, and I’m just thankful there will be a fight over it.”
No civil lawsuits have been brought against Rittenhouse yet, but there are lawsuits targeting others. The family of one of the men killed by Rittenhouse, Anthony Huber, is suing police and government officials in Kenosha, alleging that they allowed for a dangerous situation that resulted in his death. Gaige Grosskreutz, who was shot by Rittenhouse but survived, has a similar lawsuit.
A group of protesters has also sued the city and county of Kenosha alleging that curfew laws were enforced against them but not against armed people like Rittenhouse.