Wearing a denim dress and an ankle bracelet, her Mohawk combed down and decorated with a blue bandanna, Amelia Nicol looked very different yesterday morning than she had three weeks earlier, when she appeared in Denver County Court on June 9 in shackles and an orange jumpsuit, disheveled and facing up to a life sentence for, among other charges, attempted murder of two police officers.
The attempted-murder charges were dropped at that preliminary hearing, but the felony charge of possession of an incendiary device and a collection of misdemeanors remained, bringing Nicol back to Denver District Court for a June 27 appearance.
Nicol, who'd spent more than five weeks in jail (some of the time in solitary confinement) before she was released on bond June 13, headed to courtroom 5G with the same entourage that had attended her county court date, many from Anarchist Black Cross, which ran a campaign to free Nicol when more serious charges were hanging over her head. They all crowded into the courtoom when Nicol went before Judge Martin Egelhoff, and her attorney entered a plea of "not guilty" on the remaining felony charge.
An evidentiary hearing was set for August 22. Originally reported by the Denver District Attorney's Office as a "Molotov cocktail," the explosive device has since been termed a "firecracker" by the Denver Police Department. "This will be fertile ground for litigation," attorney Harvey Steinberg had pronounced at the June 9 hearing.
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"We'll be excited to see if the judge even wants to continue to trial after the physical evidence is presented," says Dave Shapiro-Strano, a spokesman for Anarchist Black Cross. "We had a huge victory on the 9th, and we're just trying to figure out where to go from here. Right now we're just dealing with day-to-day support for Amelia: finding her housing, a job, preparing her for her trial."
If the judge decides that the case against Nicol can proceed, a jury trial is set for October 4.
For more about this case, read, "Q&A with Amelia Nicol."