Woman accused of hurling shoe at Clinton pleads guilty to trespassing

Reuters News
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Posted: Sep 25, 2014 8:35 PM

By Alexia Shurmur

LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - A woman accused of throwing a shoe at Hillary Clinton in April while the former secretary of state was giving a speech in Las Vegas has pleaded guilty to trespassing on a restricted building, federal prosecutors said on Thursday. 

At the same hearing in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas, 36-year-old Alison Michelle Ernst pleaded innocent to a second charge stemming from the incident after a federal judge found her mentally competent to stand trial, court documents show.

Prosecutors say Ernst, of Phoenix, hurled a soccer shoe at Clinton as she spoke at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

Clinton - addressing an event hosted by the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries ahead of a possible run for the presidency in 2016 - dodged the shoes and continued her remarks, joking that "I didn't know that solid waste management was so controversial."

According to the court documents, Ernst will stand trial beginning on Oct. 29 on the second charge against her, violence against a person in a restricted building or grounds.

If convicted she could be sentenced to up to one year in prison and face a fine of up to $100,000. 

Clinton, who lost the Democratic presidential nomination to then-Senator Barack Obama, has said that she is thinking about running for president again in 2016.

She has given a number of speeches across the country since leaving the State Department last year.

(Reporting by Alexia Shurmur in Las Vegas and Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Writing by Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles)