Man Who Bought Rittenhouse Gun Shifts His Plea

Dominick Black now wants to plead no contest to no-felony charge of contributing to delinquency of minor
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 10, 2022 7:17 AM CST
Man Who Bought Rittenhouse AR-15 Takes a Plea Deal
Dominick Black is sworn in during the Kyle Rittenhouse trial at Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wis, on Nov. 2, 2021.   (Sean Krajacic/The Kenosha News via AP, Pool)

(Newser) Kyle Rittenhouse may not have had the AR-15 he used to shoot three men, two fatally, on Aug. 25, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis., if Dominick Black hadn't bought it for him three months earlier. At the time in May 2020, Rittenhouse was only 17, too young to legally purchase the Smith & Wesson M&P 15 rifle at a Rusk County hardware store, but Black, who was dating Rittenhouse's sister, was 18 and picked it up for him, per CNN. Black was charged in November with two felony counts of delivering a dangerous weapon to a minor, resulting in death, and he pleaded not guilty to those charges, but on Friday, a change in plans: Kenosha County Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger filed a proposed plea deal that would allow Black, now 20, to plead no contest to contributing to the delinquency of a minor instead, a noncriminal citation, reports the AP.

Instead, Black would simply pay a $2,000 fine and the felony charges would be dropped. Black had been the first witness in Rittenhouse's trial, which ended up with a not guilty verdict in November just a few days after Judge Bruce Schroeder had dismissed a misdemeanor weapons charge against Rittenhouse that he illegally possessed the weapon as a minor. Schroeder accepted a defense team argument that an exception to the law would make it too vague to prove Rittenhouse had illegally owned the rifle. Per the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Black's attorney used that same argument to try to get his own client out of hot water. In a hearing set for Monday morning, Schroeder could opt to accept the new plea deal or could outright dismiss the felony counts based on his own previous ruling that dropped the weapons charge against Rittenhouse. (Read more Kyle Rittenhouse stories.)

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