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Feds charge woman in Hillary Clinton shoe-throw

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 02:08 p.m. HST, Apr 14, 2014

LAS VEGAS >> Federal authorities have lodged two criminal charges against a Phoenix woman accused of throwing a shoe at Hillary Rodham Clinton while she gave a convention speech at a Las Vegas Strip resort.

Alison Michelle Ernst, 36, didn't respond to a phone message Monday about the charges of trespassing and violence against a person in a restricted building, which were filed Sunday in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas.

She could face up to a year in federal prison on each charge if she's convicted. A court date wasn't immediately set, and it wasn't clear if Ernst had a lawyer.

Las Vegas police booked Ernst last week on a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge and freed her with a June 24 court date. Charges haven't been filed in that case.

A disorderly conduct conviction could get Ernst up to six months in county jail.

Ernst immediately surrendered and was arrested after the incident Thursday in a ballroom at the Mandalay Bay resort.

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.

Clinton expressed surprise but wasn't struck by the shoe. She made a couple of jokes and continued her speech before more than 1,000 people at a recycling industry conference.

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.

The incident reminded some of an Iraqi journalist throwing shoes at former President George W. Bush during a Baghdad news conference in December 2008. Shoe-throwing is considered an insult in Arab cultures.

Clinton has Secret Service protection because former presidents and their spouses are covered for their lifetime, said Brian Spellacy, head of the U.S. Secret Service office in Las Vegas.

Clinton, the former first lady and Democratic senator from New York, has been giving paid speeches to industry organizations and Democratic Party groups around the country. She has said she's considering a presidential bid.

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

Without brand information we cannot assess the severity of the offense. Nike? Keds? Adidas? Puma? Pay for Less?

on April 14,2014 | 02:48PM
st1d wrote:
the danger in this incident is that the room was darkened with stage lights on clinton, blinding her to the audience. she did not realize something was thrown until it had already passed her.

in the bush incident, the entire room was lit up. bush was able to see the shoe coming and ducked as it came in his direction.

if the shoe had contacted clinton, it could have caused substantial injury as she could not see it being thrown and had no chance to duck out of the way.

on April 14,2014 | 03:41PM
serious wrote:
Listen, that was the fifth speech she made in five days at $250,000 a copy--I'd do it and they can throw boots to me for that price and she has a dozen SS men to protect us at taxpayer expense probably at the price of her speech--is this a great country or not???
on April 14,2014 | 03:50PM
scooters wrote:
Should have been a work boot with steel toes. Now that would be a dangerous instrument and maybe constitute a " Violent Act" but only if it had connected to it's target. Too bad it missed. Might have knocked some good sense in her. But hey, Just what does it matter at this point..her famous words...
on April 14,2014 | 03:56PM
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