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Felony Charges Dropped in Dominick Black Plea Agreement, Judge Agrees

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Article first appeared on Ammoland.com

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U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)-— Dominick Black is the young man who purchased the rifle used by Kyle Rittenhouse in his self-defense shooting on August 25 in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Rittenhouse killed two people in self-defense and wounded a third. A jury in a nationally publicized trial found Rittenhouse NOT GUILTY of all charges. Because the killings took place during the riots in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and multiple devices were capturing video, nearly all of the events were on video and viewed by the Jury.

Rittenhouse was charged with illegal possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under the age of 18 very quickly. That charge was eventually dismissed by the judge because the rifle Rittenhouse carried did not qualify as a dangerous weapon under longstanding Wisconsin law.

As the rifle carried by Kyle Rittenhouse was not found to be a dangerous weapon under Wisconsin law, Dominick Black could not be found guilty of supplying a dangerous weapon to a person under the age of 18, where the discharge of the weapon resulted in someone’s death. Two counts of this charge were filed by ADA Binger.

Judge Bruce Schroeder is the judge who presided over both cases. It was highly unlikely Judge Schroeder would rule against himself.

Prosecutor’s table, Kraus left, Binger with glasses, right, screengrab 2021 Rittenhouse trial.

The lead prosecutor in the case, Assistant District Attorney T. Claire Binger, was harshly criticized for his role in the case. Binger was believed to take the case for ideological purposes. He has been criticized for being “personally involved” in the case.

In negotiations between Black’s attorney and Binger, Binger worked to salvage something for his reputation. He offered a fine of $2000 for a plea of no contest to a civil charge of “contributing to the delinquency of a child”. The charge does not carry any criminal penalty.

Binger backed the carrot of a relatively minor, non-criminal fine, with the threat of significant lawyers fees during an appeal, if Judge Schroeder simply dismissed the now untenable weapons charges. From 41nbc.com:

Binger told Schroeder on Monday that he anticipated the judge would have dismissed the felony counts against Black based on that decision. He also told Schroeder that he didn’t agree with his interpretation of state law and suggested the district attorney’s office might appeal that ruling.

While the prosecutor’s office would almost certainly lose the appeal, it would cost Binger nothing, and the Black family considerably more than $2,000, to fight it. There is always the possibility a politically oriented appeals panel might find in Binger’s favor.

ADA Binger has been reliably hard-core against the right to keep and bear arms in Wisconsin.

In 2016, Wisconsin Carry helped defend Guy A. Smith in a case involving the Wisconsin Constitutional Amendment to keep and bear arms. The Amendment was passed in 1998 and is very clear. It passed with 74% of the vote. From Article I Section 25:

 The people have the right to keep and bear arms for security, defense, hunting, recreation or any other lawful purpose.

Smith and his attorney insisted on a jury trial. The Wisconsin statute in question says:

 ” … no person may place, possess, or transport a firearm, bow, or crossbow in or on a vehicle, unless one of the following applies: 1. The firearm is unloaded or is a handgun.”

The firearm in this case was a handgun. Binger used a very similar argument to what he used in the Rittenhouse case. From jsonline.com:

The defense position “would suggest anyone without a permit can drive around with a loaded weapon in the vehicle,” Binger said. “I decline to read the statute so broadly.” He said Wisconsin’s concealed carry law, Act 35, would have no meaning.

“No meaning in cars,” Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder clarified.

Yes, it was the same Judge Bruce Schroeder in the 2016 case as presided over the Rittenhouse trial and the Black plea agreement.

In the handgun in a car-case, Prosecutor Binger waited until the last possible moment before the trial began, costing the defense the maximum amount of money. On August 28, just as jury selection began, T. Claire Binger asked the case be dismissed and the defendant be acquitted. The case was dismissed, and no precedent was to be set.

It became clear, however, that T. Claire Binger was unwilling to accept that Wisconsin residents have a right to keep and bear arms. It is the default position of Progressives everywhere,  not just in Wisconsin.

Judge Schroeder reduced the fine to $1,500 and court costs, which brought it back to about $2,000.

Judge Schroeder then signed off on the plea deal for Dominick Black. No criminal record, and a fine equivalent to about 8 hours of attorney fees.

There would be no appeal of the dismissal of felony charges.

About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

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