KENOSHA, Wis. – An 17-year-old California lawyer in Illinois accused of killing two people and killing a third in a night riot in Wisconsin is withdrawing from his criminal defense after prosecutors raised ethical concerns about the lawyer.
John Pierce, a civil lawyer in Los Angeles, was at the forefront of the case of Kyle Rittenhouse, who was charged during the Kenosha protests this summer. Pierce was also working to secure a $ 2 million bail for Rittenhouse, who was brought to trial on Thursday.
Thomas Binger, the Kenosha County Deputy Attorney, quoted public records and news in a motion, arguing that Pierce “has significant personal financial difficulties” and should not be allowed to represent Rittenhouse because “in the defendant’s confidence. the money to be held can be used instead. to repay several of Pierce’s attorney’s creditors. “
Shortly after the motion was filed Thursday, Pierce tweeted to take over all civil affairs for Rittenhouse and continue to raise funds to protect it. He said the Vienna case was being handled by Mark Richards, a Wisconsin lawyer.
Pierce and other conservatives portrayed Rittenhouse as patriotic and urged supporters to donate to the #FightBack Foundation to strengthen their legal protection.
“Attorney Pierce’s personal financial difficulties raise significant ethical concerns, especially when he has close ties to a significant yet unregulated and unreported“ slush fund ”intended solely for the benefit of the defendant,” Binger wrote, citing the foundation.
Binger argues that donations for Rittenhouse’s legal protection should be treated with confidence, as Wisconsin lawyers require clients to be represented by retainers.
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As its legal representation changes, the case against Rittenhouse is progressing. The Kenosha County Court Commissioner on Thursday found a probable reason to pursue the case and rejected the defense on the grounds of reckless intimidation and gun charges against Rittenhouse.
Murder and attempted murder are charged with the deadly shooting of Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber and the wounding of Gaige Grosskreutz on 25 August. The shooting occurred during a night of riots in Kenosha that followed a police shot by Jacob Blake, a local black man. suffered paralyzing injuries.