After indicating Monday morning they might be deadlocked, jurors in the trial of a couple accused of assaulting protesters on the University of Washington campus on inauguration night 2017 — resulting in a near-fatal shooting — continued to deliberate through the end of the day and said they would return to the task Tuesday, more than a week after they retired to consider evidence in the case.
King County Superior Court Judge Kristin Richardson sent the 12-member panel back to continue deliberations after they asked her a question about what would happen if they couldn’t reach a unanimous verdict. They began deliberating in the trial of Elizabeth and Marc Hokoana on Aug. 2
Elizabeth “Lily” Hokoana, 31, has been charged with first-degree felony assault for shooting antifa sympathizer Joshua Dukes, 35, in the stomach during the chaotic protests on Jan. 20, 2017. Several hundred protesters, many of them already upset over the inauguration earlier that day of President Donald Trump, squared off against a crowd who had purchased tickets to see right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos. Tensions reached critical mass when a large group of black-clad “anti-fascist” demonstrators flooded Red Square.
Accompanying Elizabeth Hokoana was her husband, Marc, also 31, a pre-med student and Trump supporter. They were there for the Yiannopoulos event but prosecutors say they had come as much to goad the people protesting Trump’s inauguration and the Yiannopoulos speech. Marc Hokoana had told a friend during a chat on social media the night before that he was looking forward to “cracking skulls” and planned to attend the event prepared to go “full melee” — a gaming reference to hand-to-hand combat. He later testified that the comments were made in jest. He armed himself with a curved-blade tactical knife and a pepper-spray blaster. He was charged with misdemeanor assault for spraying that weapon into the crowd.
Elizabeth Hokoana testified that she shot Dukes to defend her husband, whom Dukes was charging toward after Marc Hokoana fired pepper spray into the crowd.
Dukes, who works as a computer-security expert, had refused to testify at the trial, claiming through his lawyer, Abigail Cromwell, that he didn’t believe in or trust the U.S. justice system, and prosecutors were left to put on a case without a victim.
During closing arguments after the five-week trial, his absence was used by defense attorneys to raise questions about the validity of the state’s case. What was the state hiding? they asked. The King County Prosecutor’s Office could have had Dukes arrested as a material witness, but Senior Deputy Prosecutor Raam Wong said before the trial that he would not do that.