Will ruling in Kyle Rittenhouse trial save friend Dominick Black from charges he provided rifle used to kill two people?

·2 min read

The friend who bought the rifle that Kyle Rittenhouse used to fatally shoot two men and wound another would like charges against him thrown out.

But just when it seemed a controversial ruling from Rittenhouse's trial last week might clear Rittenhouse's friend, that case was again delayed on Monday.

Dominick Black, 20, of Kenosha, was charged last fall with two counts of providing a firearm to a minor, resulting in death. He bought an AR-15-style rifle for Rittenhouse in May 2020, when Rittenhouse was too young to legally purchase a gun.

Rittenhouse used it to kill two people and wound a third during protests in Kenosha on Aug. 5, 2020. On Friday, a jury agreed he acted in self-defense, acquitting him of five felonies.

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Dominick Black looks at a photograph held by Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger, where he along with Kyle Rittenhouse and a group of others posed on Aug. 25, 2020, during Kyle Rittenhouse's trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wis, on Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021. Rittenhouse is accused of killing two people and wounding a third during a protest over police brutality in Kenosha, last year.
Dominick Black looks at a photograph held by Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger, where he along with Kyle Rittenhouse and a group of others posed on Aug. 25, 2020, during Kyle Rittenhouse's trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wis, on Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021. Rittenhouse is accused of killing two people and wounding a third during a protest over police brutality in Kenosha, last year.

Rittenhouse has also been charged with being a minor in possession of a firearm, a misdemeanor. From the very start of the case his lawyers had argued that an exception in the law allows 16 and 17-year-olds to carry rifles and shotguns.

Prosecutors repeatedly argued the poorly-worded exception is meant to allow teens those ages to hunt without adult supervision if they'd completed hunter safety programs, and that under the defense's interpretation, the law would allow 16 and 17-year-olds to go around with loaded assault-style weapons but not brass knuckles.

Back in May, Black tried to get his own charges dismissed, in part on the same argument, that if Rittenhouse could legally possess the rifle, it was no crime for Black to provide it to him.

Right before the case went to the jury last week, Kenosha County Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder dismissed the charge, saying the statute was too confusing to give proper notice of what conduct is legal or not. The timing prevented prosecutors from seeking an appeal.

Black, who had become close friends with Rittenhouse while dating his sister, testified against him at trial. Black's own case — also assigned to Schroeder — had been postponed until Monday.

Now that Schroeder has deemed Wisconsin's law against minors having guns fatally flawed, at least at it pertains to 16 and 17-year-olds, it was expected that Black's attorney would ask that his charges also be dismissed.

But at the scheduled status hearing, Schroeder agreed to set a new hearing date in January.

Black's attorney, Anthony Cotton, said his client wants to further '"consider his options."

Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger, who also prosecuted Rittenhouse, said, "We're still discussing things."

Contact Bruce Vielmetti at (414) 224-2187 or bvielmetti@jrn.com. Follow him on Twitter at @ProofHearsay.

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This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Man who bought AR-15 for Kyle Rittenhouse wants gun charges dismissed

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