Kyle Rittenhouse is a free man after he was acquitted of murder in Kenosha on Friday, but the next legal battle could involve his former lawyers who are now demanding to be repaid their portion of the $2 million in bond money.
Rittenhouse, 18, was acquitted by jurors on all charges – two counts of homicide, one count of attempted homicide for wounding a third man, and two counts of recklessly endangering safety – after killing two people during protests marred by arson, rioting and looting on August 25, 2020, in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Two attorneys who helped raise the bond money to get Rittenhouse released from jail after his arrest last year now want their cash back, but the 18-year-old Antioch, Illinois resident’s family is refusing.
John Pierce of the Los Angeles-based law firm Pierce Bainbridge represented Rittenhouse at the time that his firm wrote a $2 million check springing him from jail in late November 2020.
Pierce was brought on to the Rittenhouse legal team by famed Atlanta defamation lawyer Lin Wood.
Together, Wood and Pierce formed a nonprofit called the #FightBack Foundation.
Using the social media hashtag #FightBack, they managed to raise around $2million, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Wood then left the Rittenhouse legal team in order to help then-President Donald Trump contest the election results in court.
The Rittenhouse family then fired Pierce in February. The family has accused both Lin and Pierce of diverting money meant to help Rittenhouse.
By law, bond should be returned to whoever posted it after the trial is over. In this case, it appears to be Pierce’s law firm.
But Wood claims that his #FightBack Foundation is the one that raised the money and thus should get the cash.
Former child actor Ricky Schroder and My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell have also been credited with making donations toward Rittenhouse’s legal fund.
Mark Richards, the criminal defense lawyer who represented Rittenhouse at trial, believes a legal battle is brewing over the bond money.
‘I suspect there will be a fight over that,’ Richards told 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.’
Richards added: ‘There was half a million dollars I think that came directly from [Kyle’s mother] Wendy Rittenhouse from money she raised.
‘So there’s going to be a fight over that, and I’m just thankful there will be a fight over it.’