In arraignment, DHS grad and hate crime suspect pleads not guilty

Kirk-Coehlo talks to her lawyer through the slits in the glass. (Courtesy: Davis Enterprise)

By Isabella Ainsworth, Editor-in-Chief–

In all, it took about seven minutes.

Lauren Kirk-Coehlo– Davis High class of 2004, Berkeley graduate, former environmental club president and suspect for a hate crime against the Islamic Center of Davis– stood behind a glass window with long open slits.

She had glasses. Her brown hair was braided back. The color of the striped jumpsuit she was wearing, green, was reminiscent of her days as the head of the environmental club, a club emblematic of the progressive Davis culture.

Now, though, the green was not the mark of a typical Davisite, indicating a desire to protect the environment and the planet. Now, it indicated that she was jailed.

In the back of her room, a guard stood watch.

Meanwhile, her lawyers, who were just inches away from her on the other side of the glass, talked to the judge.

They asked for the charge. They were handed a white paper with the charge written on it.

“Not guilty” one of the lawyers told the court the defendant pleaded.

They discussed another bail hearing and set it for Feb. 23. Precedents about the proper times to change bail (whether or not new information was needed to change the bail amount, and if so, whether the arraignment was the proper time to do it) were discussed.

For now, the bail would be kept at $1 million. March 6 would be the preliminary hearing.

The judge asked if it was all right with the defendant.

The lawyers whispered to the defendant, and then indicated that it was, indeed, all right with her.

Kirk-Coehlo was led out of the room. The people who had come to watch the event — reporters, a couple students from the UC Davis law school, citizens — left the court room in a quick flurry.

The arraignment was done.

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