Woman charged with throwing shoe at Clinton in Nevada to undergo competency evaluation

NEW YORK Thu Jun 12, 2014 8:47pm EDT

Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reacts while speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations with CFR President Richard Haass in Manhattan, New York June 12, 2014. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reacts while speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations with CFR President Richard Haass in Manhattan, New York June 12, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Andrew Kelly

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - A federal judge in Nevada has ordered a competency evaluation for a woman charged with throwing a shoe at former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during an April speaking appearance in Las Vegas, according to court papers released on Thursday.

Alison Michelle Ernst is accused of getting past security at an event at Las Vegas' Mandalay Bay Hotel where Clinton was speaking and hurling a soccer shoe and several papers at Clinton from the audience.

A video of the incident posted on the website of CBS News shows Clinton ducking as a shoe flies over her head.

"Is that somebody throwing something at me? Is that part of Cirque de Soleil?" Clinton said. "Thank Goodness she didn't play softball like I did."

The evaluation will consider whether Ernst may have been "legally insane" at the time of the incident as well as whether she is fit to stand trial, U.S. Magistrate Judge Peggy Leen said in issuing the order.

The evaluation was made at the request of Ernst's lawyer, William Carrico, who questioned whether Ernst understood the proceedings against her and could assist in her own defense.

Ernst is charged with entering a restricted building and committing violence against a person in a restricted building or grounds.

(Reporting by Edith Honan; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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