The two defendants in the Jan. 20 UW shooting pleaded not guilty Wednesday morning in the King County Courthouse.
Elizabeth and Marc Hokoana had their bails initially set at $50,000 each before the figure was reduced to $10,000 because neither of them have a criminal history, they’re unlikely to flee, and neither are receiving any income. Marc Hokoana was a pre-med student at the UW, but both the Hokoanas are banned from campus. Elizabeth Hokoana has since been put on unpaid leave.
The defendants waived their right to a speedy trial. Both are sticking to self-defense claims.
Steven Wells, one of the defense attorneys, painted his narrative by calling Joshua Dukes, the man shot, an accuser. It was also argued in their presentation that the scene on Red Square on Jan. 20 was enough to make the Hokoanas scared, citing Molotov cocktails. There were no Molotov cocktails thrown that night, according to the UWPD report.
“There’s a lot of things not in the police report,” Wells responded to that.
“If it was such a thing, it would be in the police report,” UWPD Major Steve Rittereiser said. “That was the first time I’ve heard that, but it’s not unusual to hear those types of things said as speculation in a case.”
Wells also claimed that Dukes had Facebook posts of his own that show premeditated violence, but has since deleted his Facebook account. The latter is false. Wells stated that he submitted the posts into evidence to the prosecuting attorney and The Daily is waiting to see if a records request for those items will be granted. In addition, there is only one search warrant of many that is currently open to the public.
“I’m gonna say something that a lot of folks won’t like,” says Joshua Dukes, the man who was shot on the University of Washington campus while protesting a speech given by alt-right icon Milo Yiannopoulos on Inauguration Day. “I don’t think Elizabeth [the shooter] should be permanently stripped of her gun rights.”
This is something Dukes’ lawyer didn’t release a statement on, but a matter Dukes himself wanted out in the public. If Elizabeth Hokoana is found guilty of first degree assault (a class A felony) as charged by the prosecuting attorney’s office, she will no longer be allowed to own a firearm (Marc Hokoana, who is charged with third degree assault, a class C felony, wouldn’t face the gun restriction.)
“[Elizabeth] needs to be held accountable, but we also need to look in ourselves if we want to address the root of the problem and not a symptom,” Dukes says. “Their guns make the symptoms worse, but the root is deeper.”
The UW shooting showed me, yet again, how screwed up the systems are. The political system, the legal system, the administrative system, the educational system, the capitalist system. But perhaps what’s more frustrating about the shooting is how it’s emblematic of a much larger problem. Everyday people are taught to, and in fact often do, blame each other — people in the very same boat who are just as much afraid of it going under, just by different names — rather than blaming the systems that perpetuate their burdens and limit their upward mobility.
Those embroiled in conflict blame everyday individuals for the way things are, and this time it culminated in a protester gunned down. The only difference, really, is the form of action each group takes to somehow absolve the blame, the frustrations and the issues. Some decide to take action through activism while others place trust in a broken system. America teaches us to place our remedies in the political and legal status quo. So it’s not to say those who do are gullible. Rather, they’re distinctly American-trained. American™. And the convenience of being American™ is that there’s Others to blame, which allows the system to evade focus and scrutiny, thereby perpetuating its faults.
Dukes, otherwise known as Hex, has made it clear that he prefers restorative justice in which the shooter and accomplice wouldn’t face jail time. Instead, they would have substantial conversations with those involved and with the community, as he doesn’t believe jail is the rehabilitative system it claims to be. The Hokoanas maintain the shooting was an act of self-defense.
Several firearm receipts were found in Marc’s glove box after he and Elizabeth turned themselves in Jan. 20. The 9mm glock found in the car was registered to Marc, but had Elizabeth’s fingerprints on it. The police filed a warrant for Marc’s Facebook page, from which they discovered evidence for premeditation.
Marc had sent “I can’t wait for tomorrow, I’m going to the Milo event and if the snowflakes get out off (sic) hand I’m just going to wade through their ranks and start cracking skulls” in his Facebook messenger. The person he was talking with, Brandon Caley, responded, “god, you gonna carry?” Marc replied “Nah, I’m going full melee…Lily it’s…Is* (sic)” Caley then sent, “GET EM (sic) just don’t end up in jail.”
When it comes to America’s legal system, it has a rather interesting history: Going from grotesque but nonetheless visible executions to traumatic and invisible navigation and punishment. Nearly everything about the judicial and legal system takes place outside of the public eye: legal financial obligations, sentencing, figuring out where to go and what time and if it’s even possible to make it to court while working and with kids, attempting to get an often unaffordable or otherwise overworked lawyer, reliving traumatic events for testimony, the list goes on.
Long story short, everyday systemic violence is often hidden. Partly due to the way the system is set up, the public rarely pauses and comprehends the ramifications of a single gunshot. In the case of the man shot at the University of Washington’s Red Square last January, there’s been limited reflection on the trauma endured by him, his friends, and his family.
“I’m tired of carrying this by myself. I want people to see. I want them to see what right-wing violence looks like. I want the College Republicans to see what happens at their event that they insisted upon having.”
Meanwhile, the UW community remains frustrated. Multiple students and faculty have come forward, but none wanting to be on the record, claiming that the UW administration sends people on a loop of endless resources that appear to never actually step in. UW president Ana Mari Cauce, however, contended on her blog that “[The UW] has taken swift and decisive action to protect our campus community.”
The UW administration has otherwise addressed itself as blameless — clear in blog posts, emails, and Q&As — when it comes to students, the Yiannopoulos event, and the lack of administrative action (outside of blog posts and emails) following the shooting.