- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Supporters of Kenosha gunman Kyle Rittenhouse have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to his legal defense in spite of fundraising hiccups following last Tuesday’s shooting.

A fundraiser for Mr. Rittenhouse hosted on the Christian crowdfunding site GiveSendGo had received more than 7,500 donations totaling over $320,000 of its $200,000 goal as of Tuesday afternoon.

L. Lin Wood, a defense lawyer for the teenage murder suspect, said that more than a half-million dollars in donations had been made to his legal fund as of late Monday, meanwhile.

Mr. Rittenhouse, 17, of Antioch, Ill., has been charged with homicide in connection with the shooting deaths last Tuesday of two people killed in nearby Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Online fundraisers were made for the teen’s legal defense shortly after he was identified as the suspect, but they quickly vanished from fundraising platforms including GoFundMe.

GoFundMe said campaigns for Mr. Rittenhouse violated its terms of service but did not explain further. A campaign on rival service Fundly disappeared without explanation as well.

Fundraisers for the teen’s legal defense have since found success through GiveSendGo and a site launched by Mr. Wood, however.

Jacob Wells, GiveSendGo’s co-founder, said he has received words of appreciation as well as significant pushback for hosting the campaign, the Religion News Service reported.

“We said, listen, we’re not the judge and the jury, God is. And we’re going to leave it up to him in that,” Mr. Wells said, according to the site.

A message posted on the GiveSendGo campaign page says that donations will be given to the #FightBack Foundation recently launched by Mr. Wood to support the teen’s legal defense.

“To date, 11,254 donors have donated total of $605,550 toward the Foundation’s efforts to fund defense of Kyle Rittenhouse & help support & protect his family,”

Mr. Wood said on Twitter late Monday. He did not immediately return a message requesting further details about the legal team’s efforts.

Mr. Rittenhouse’s lawyers say he was in Kenosha with an AR-15 style rifle “to deter property damage” after recent protests descended into riots and private businesses were looted.

They allege he was being attacked by rioters and predicted he will be acquitted on the ground of self-defense.

Mr. Rittenhouse is charged with killing Anthony Huber, 26, and Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and injuring Gaige Grosskreutz, 26. He has an extradition hearing scheduled for September 26.

The fatal shooting incident took place amid unrest sparked by a Kenosha police officer shooting a Black man several times from behind Sunday, paralyzing him.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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