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SEATTLE - Prosecutors have charged a couple in connection with a shooting during a demonstration over the appearance of a right-wing speaker at the University of Washington.
King County prosecutors on Monday charged 29-year-old Elizabeth Hokoana with first-degree assault with a firearm enhancement for shooting a 34-year-old protester in the abdomen. They also charged her husband, 29-year-old Marc Hokoana, with third-degree assault for his involvement in the Jan. 20 shooting.
Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg says the evidence will show the two took a gun into a volatile protest on campus. He says the husband used pepper spray on the crowd and the crowd reacted predictably. But Satterberg says Marc Hokoana was not in imminent danger when his wife fired her pistol.
Her attorney Steve Wells previously told The Seattle Times his client shot the person because she believed her husband was in imminent danger.
Wells along with Marc Hokoana's attorney, Kim Gordon, released a joint statement Monday that reads in part:
"We have provided the police and the prosecution evidence showing that our clients acted lawfully in defense of others. The alleged victim, Joshua Dukes, has repeatedly stated that he does not want this to go through the criminal justice system. We are disappointed that the prosecution has decided otherwise. We look forward to presenting our case to a jury and we anticipate an acquittal."
Sarah Lippek, the attorney for Joshua Dukes, also released a statement Monday that reads in part:
"Mr. Dukes hopes that the defendants will take accountability for shooting him, taking guns and other weapons into already unstable circumstances, and for their involvement in escalating violence in the situation.
Restorative Justice is a process that allows dialogue between those who have caused harm and those who have been harmed. Together, they identify how accountability can be reached, and they take steps to repair the harm.
A criminal prosecution does not usually allow for this kind of interaction between victims and defendants. Mr. Dukes hopes that the Hokoanas will choose to engage with him during the prosecution, and with the cooperation of the prosecutor's office, or after the conclusion of the trial."
The incident happened outside the appearance of political provocateur and Trump supporter Milo Yiannopoulos.
Marc and Elizabeth Hokoana are scheduled to be arraigned May 8.