Dominick David Black, the friend who bought Kyle Rittenhouse an assault-style rifle when he was only 17, has been facing two felonies in Wisconsin. The hefty charges were clearly meant to force his cooperation in the prosecution of his friend. With Rittenhouse now acquitted, the prosecutors have thrown in the towel and agreed to a fine of $2000 in exchange for dropping the two counts. He pleaded no contest to contributing to the delinquency of a minor, a non-criminal citation.
Rittenhouse was too young to buy the Smith & Wesson M & P-15 rifle himself, so Black, 20, agreed to do so. Black bought the gun in Ladysmith, Wis. with Rittenhouse’s money and stored the gun at his stepfather’s home in Kenosha until Rittenhouse was old enough to possess it.
Black was facing two counts of delivering a dangerous weapon to a minor, resulting in death. A conviction on each count could have brought a sentence of three years in prison plus three years of supervision. Notably, there were even threats that the Biden Administration was considering bringing federal charges to increase his possible incarceration.
The plea exposes a common tactic of prosecutors to leave major charges hanging over the heads of witnesses to induce them to cooperate. It also makes them less likely to make public statements or assist in the defense of another defendant like Rittenhouse.
The Rittenhouse case unleashed a torrent of inaccurate reporting and reckless commentary by press and politicians alike. Once Rittenhouse was acquitted on all counts, the Black charges became more untenable for trial. Moreover, Black insisted that he was holding the gun for less than a year until Rittenhouse could purchase and possess the weapon.