Man jumps over bench, attacks judge in Las Vegas courtroom
During a sentencing hearing in a Las Vegas courtroom on Wednesday, a man violently attacked a judge after being denied probation. The incident, captured on video, showed the man, identified as Deobra Redden, 30, leaping over a courtroom bench and assaulting Judge Mary Kay Holthus.
The spokeswoman for the Eighth Judicial District Court, in a statement, detailed that Mr. Redden was present for his sentencing on charges of attempted battery with substantial bodily harm to which he had pled guilty.
In the widely circulated video, Mr. Redden is seen attacking Judge Holthus, knocking flags behind the bench to the ground. The video momentarily loses sight of Judge Holthus and Mr. Redden, amidst audible cursing. Soon after, three men intervene, attempting to restrain Mr. Redden and striking him in the process.
Judge Holthus, 62, sustained injuries and was under observation, as per the court spokeswoman. A court marshal was also injured during the incident and was transported to a hospital, where he was reportedly stable.
The court issued a statement commending “the heroic acts of her staff, law enforcement, and all others who subdued the defendant.” The statement also emphasized the court’s dedication to maintaining a safe and secure environment, mentioning a review of protocols to protect the judiciary, public, and employees.
Requests for comments from Judge Holthus and Mr. Redden’s lawyer went unanswered on Wednesday.
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, investigating the battery at the courthouse, reported that two victims were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries and confirmed the suspect’s custody. The department’s statement did not specify the identities of those involved.
Prior to the attack, Mr. Redden’s lawyer had requested probation for him. Judge Holthus, however, chose to proceed with the sentencing, citing Mr. Redden’s criminal history. “I appreciate that, but I think it’s time he get a taste of something else,” she remarked.
Court records indicate that Mr. Redden has a history of imprisonment, including a sentence in 2015 for attempted theft and time served in 2021 for domestic battery.
Judge Holthus has been on the Clark County bench since January 2019, following over 27 years with the Clark County District Attorney’s Office. The Eighth Judicial District Court mandates weapon screening for courtroom visitors, who are also expected to maintain silence during proceedings.
The incident highlights the risks faced by courtroom personnel. In a similar instance last year, a man received a 46-month prison sentence for assaulting a court security officer at the Lloyd D. George Federal Courthouse in Las Vegas, as reported by the Justice Department.