The mother of 20-year-old Kelley Marie Ferguson declined to vouch for her or offer collateral for bail, and sat silently in court today as federal prosecutors called her daughter immature and unstable. Without any backing from her family, Ferguson’s public defender did not argue against the government’s request to hold her without bail.
“It’s like, ‘Oh well, if her family is not willing to stick out their neck for her, then certainly the court system shouldn’t do it either,'” assistant U.S. attorney Ken Sorenson told KITV.
Ferguson is facing federal terrorism charges after allegedly writing notes threatening to kill everyone aboard a cruise ship bound for Hawai`i last week. She reportedly wanted to get the trip canceled and get back to her boyfriend back in Orange County, Calif. Sorenson said the inter-agency response to the hoax was expensive, noting that the Coast Guard portion alone cost $336,000.
And while her 23-year-old boyfriend, John Brashear, recently spoke out in her defense, prosecutors today revealed that he had a lengthy criminal record.
Assistant U.S. attorney Ken Sorenson said Ferguson is “dependent emotionally and psychologically” on Brashear, who he said has past convictions for hit and run, drug possession and burglary.
Earlier this week, Brashear told KCAL 9 in Los Angeles that Ferguson is “not even close to being a terrorist.”
“What do you think she’s thinking right now?” he asked. “How much she wishes she could probably be with me right now; how much she knows she’s messed up and wishes she probably never would have done it.”
Prosecutors had little sympathy for Ferguson, who they said never showed any remorse for her actions. But U.S. Attorney Ed Kubo did sympathize with her family. “My heart really goes out to her parents who had to suffer and endure the pain of all this embarrassment based on her conduct,” he said.
In an interview with the Honolulu Advertiser, Ferguson’s father said she was immature but didn’t mean to hurt anybody. On behalf of his family, he said, “I am sorry for the inconvenience, disappointments, extra work put on by the cruise line, everything.”
He said that his daughter started skipping school and church after she met Brashears, and that the cruise was meant to bring the family back together.
Earlier this week, federal public defender Loretta Faymonville quipped, “Instead of being charged as a terrorist, she should be charged with being a teenager.”
But in court today before Judge Kevin Chang, Faymonville listened as the prosecution made its case, then said, “We’re not going to argue.”
Ferguson faces up to 20 years in prison.