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Woman Accused Of Throwing Shoe At Clinton Ordered Held In Phoenix

Alison Michelle Ernst

Alison Michelle Ernst was charged with throwing a shoe at Hillary Clinton in Las Vegas. (Credit: Las Vegas Police)

PHOENIX (CBSNewYork/AP) — A federal magistrate judge on Tuesday ordered a Phoenix woman to remain jailed, until she is returned to Las Vegas to face federal charges alleging she threw a shoe at former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton during a speech.

Alison Michelle Ernst, 36, read documents, talked to her lawyer and sat on the edge of her seat as she waited for her initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Steven Logan in Phoenix.

Ernst, wearing a turquoise-colored hooded jacket and jeans, was arrested late Monday after federal prosecutors in Las Vegas filed charges Sunday accusing her of trespassing and violence against a person.

The federal charges increase the possible consequences for Ernst if she is convicted of throwing a shoe at the former secretary of state.

The judge appointed attorney Maria Weidner to represent Ernst and ordered Ernst detained pending proceedings in Las Vegas.

Outside court, Weidner said Ernst looked forward to resolving the case against her.

Ernst had been arrested in Las Vegas after questioning by the U.S. Secret Service on a local misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge carrying a possible six-month sentence in county jail. She was released by Las Vegas police with a June 24 court date in Las Vegas. Those charges weren’t immediately filed.

The federal charges accuse her of bypassing security to enter the ballroom and committing a violent act by throwing the shoe that police say she pulled from a purse and hurled about 60 feet toward the former secretary of state.

The incident happened moments after Clinton took the stage before an Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries meeting.

Clinton, also a U.S. senator from New York and a Chappaqua resident, ducked and was not struck.

She then joked about it.

“Is that somebody throwing something at me? Is that part of Cirque de Soleil?” Clinton quipped.

Many in the audience of more than 1,000 people in a large ballroom laughed and applauded as Clinton, a potential Democratic presidential candidate in 2016, resumed her speech.

An orange-and-black athletic shoe was recovered from the stage.

Ernst acknowledged throwing a shoe but didn’t explain her actions to reporters as she was taken into custody by the U.S. Secret Service.

If Ernst is convicted of both federal charges, she could face up to two years in federal prison and the possibility that federal authorities would be able to monitor her movements under terms of supervised release.

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