Ross Mirkarimi, who is appeared in court this afternoon for his arraignment on three misdemeanor charges, has pled not guilty to the three counts of domestic violence battery, child endangerment and dissuading a witness.
Before his arraignment, Mirkarimi reportedly dodged questions from reporters outside the courtroom. The District Attorney's officer has also asked for an extension on the protective order for Mirkarimi to stay away from Mrs. Lopez and his Western Addition home.
Although the judge has apparently banned electronic devices from the court room, KQED has managed to get the scoop on the Sheriff's fashion choices:
On break while Mirkarimi's atty reviews documents. Mirkarimi has appeared calm in navy suit, bergundy tie. Lopez also present— KQED News Live (@KQEDNewsLive) January 19, 2012
More on this as it develops...
Update: The AP brings us the above photo from this afternoon's arraignment at the Superior Court showing Sheriff Mirkarimi escorted in to the courtroom by his own deputies.
The DA's request to extend the "stay away order" has been a big point of contention in today's hearing. As the Bay Citizen reports Superior Court Judge Susan Breall was previously an attorney with the DA's office responsible for prosecuting crimes against women, children and the elderly. Breall told the court she was considering several factors before making her decision: "that the Mirkarimi's son allegedly witnessed the abuse; that Lopez had not yet met with the victim's advocate in the district attorney's office; and that Lopez is a recent immigrant to the U.S. and does not have much of a support system in the country."
To that last point, both Lopez and Mirkarimi's attorney's explained Mrs. Lopez is a strong, financially independent woman. The Bay Citizen confirms she was "sitting in the front row wearing a grey sweater and a black turtleneck." Other Mirkarimi supporters in the courtroom were spotted wearing "Ross Mirkarimi for Sheriff" t-shirts.
Just before 5 p.m. today, journalists in the courtroom reported that Judge Breall decided to extended the stay away order for Mirkarimi. Mrs. Lopez, meanwhile, told the press, "This country has not allowed me to work on my marriage in a healthy way.” And, “I feel like I am a ball and everyone is using my family, myself in a political game.”
Mirkarimi will return to court Monday at 9 a.m. The latest this trial could begin is March 9th.