Couple pleads not guilty to shooting at UW protest

A couple allegedly involved in a shooting on the University of Washington campus on Inauguration Day has pleaded not guilty.

A couple charged in a shooting during a protest on the University of Washington campus in January pleaded not guilty Wednesday.

Elizabeth Hokoana, 29, is charged with first-degree assault with a firearm enhancement for shooting a 34-year-old protester January 20 during a demonstration over the appearance of right-wing speaker Milo Yiannopoulos.

“It is further alleged at the time of the crime you were armed with a Glock 9mm handgun,” a court clerk read aloud during the arraignment.

Prosecutors also charged her husband, Marc Hokoana, 29, with third-degree assault for his involvement.

Defense attorneys asked the judge for no monetary bail, citing their clients' lack of criminal history. Several family members also submitted letters on behalf of the couple and stood up during the arraignment.

The judge set bail at $10,000.

Elizabeth Hokoana’s attorney, Steve Wells, claimed shooting victim Joshua Dukes posted calls for violence on social media before the demonstration.

“[Dukes] was posting on Facebook about how Milo needed to be stabbed. He was posting about how to use guerilla warfare tactics,” Wells said outside the courtroom, explaining he submitted the posts to prosecutors and would not be releasing them to media.

Dukes’ attorney Sarah Lippek calls the claims "baseless," "untrue," and an attempt by defense attorneys to "victim smear." Lippek says Wells did not present any documents to the court Wednesday.

"He's making baseless claims and not providing evidence," Lippek said over the phone. "[Dukes] says he's posted nothing like that. His page is private, visible only to friends, is active and has never been taken down."

Friends of Duke, who attended the arraignment, called the claims “cheap.”

“I thought it was very cheap of Ms. Gordon [Elizabeth Hokoana’s attorney] to raise every bit of unrelated text from every militant leftist website as though it was of any relevance at all to the parties in the shooting,” Eric Rachner, a friend of the shooting victim, said.

Rachner describes Dukes as “very much a pacifist,” who was breaking up fights the night of the demonstration.

“When you intercede in somebody else’s violence, you put yourself at risk. I think no one imagined how much risk would befall him for that,” Rachner said. 

© 2017 KING-TV


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