Court cameras caught the extraordinary moment Wednesday when a felon who was about to be sentenced for a violent crime leaped over the bench and assaulted a judge in Las Vegas.
Deobra Redden, 30, was in Clark County District Court to be sentenced on an attempted battery charge when he jumped toward Judge Mary Kay Holthus and pushed her against the wall, prompting a brawl between him and court officials that left three people injured.
“This is a very unique situation that, as far as I know, has never happened before with somebody Supermanning over a judicial bench,” Chief Judge Jerry Wiese said at a news conference Thursday.
Holthus received medical attention and was back in court Thursday. She is sore and stiff from her injuries, but thankful they were not worse, Wiese said.
Her marshal has since been released from the hospital and is being treated for a head injury. Her law clerk had hand abrasions and has been released, he said.
In a statement read by Wiese, Holthus thanked well-wishers and said she was “extremely grateful to those who took brave action during the attack.”
“We commend the heroic acts of her staff, law enforcement, and all others who subdued the defendant. The court remains committed to a safe and secure courthouse and courtrooms. We are reviewing all our protocols and will do whatever is necessary to protect the judiciary, the public and our employees,” court information officer Mary Ann Price said in a statement.
Court video shows that in the moments before the attack, Redden had told the court that he was “in a better place in my mind” and was now working, NBC News affiliate KSNV of Las Vegas reported.
“I feel like I shouldn’t be sent to prison, but if it’s appropriate for you, then you gotta do what you gotta do,” he said. His attorney had argued for a suspended sentence.
The judge told Redden that she would nevertheless impose a custodial sentence due to his crime and past convictions.
“I appreciate that but I think it’s time he got a taste of something else, because I just can’t with that history,” she said, before beginning to deliver his sentence.
Redden is then heard to swear at the judge before jumping over the bench toward her.
“Hey, get off her! Don’t do this,” someone is court is heard saying, before an alarm is sounded.
The violent outburst means Redden will now be charged with battery on a protected person resulting in substantial bodily harm, two other counts of battery on a protected person, and one count of simple battery, Wiese said.
Caesar Almase, an attorney for Redden, said in an email Thursday that he had no comment.
Since the attack, the courthouse has taken steps to bolster safety, Wiese said, including meeting with its security contractor to bring in additional security personnel and discussing a need for more marshals in high-risk cases.
Wiese said he’s unsure whether having more marshals in court would have stopped the attack. He said he believed the marshal who was there was right behind Redden, but he “moved too quick.”
Holthus will see Redden in court again Monday, when she will hand down his sentence in the original attempted battery charge, Wiese said.