In an unsettling incident that occurred this past Wednesday, a courtroom in Las Vegas became the site of a physical assault on a judge. The shocking incident involved Deobra Redden, a man aged 30, who has previous criminal convictions. At the time, Redden was presenting himself in front of Judge Mary Kay Holthus of the Clark County District Court, who was overseeing a sentencing for an attempted battery charge with significant potential for harm.
The entire scene, captured on video footage acquired by 8 News Now Investigators, unfurled in a dramatic fashion. It was near 11 a.m. when Redden, gauged by the severity of impending sentencing, made a rash decision. The video evidence shows him lunging at Judge Holthus, maneuvering over the imposing bench in an attempt to land an assault.
As the courtroom erupted into turmoil, bystanders immediately intervened into the chaotic scene playing out before them. Redden was wrestled by multiple individuals who were quick to react, and eventually restrained him to the ground. An alarm echoed throughout the court building, signaling an internal emergency.
Prior to the shocking display of violence, Redden’s legal counsel had made pleas to Judge Holthus for leniency. Requesting probation as a sentence, Redden’s defense attorney received an unexpected response from the judge. Holthus asserted her belief that Redden needed to face stricter consequences, saying in part, ‘I think it’s time he get a taste of something else.’
The case the remark refers to dates back to April 23. Court records indicate that Redden was involved in another serious incident. He had threatened to cause substantial harm by attacking another individual’s kneecaps. The suspect’s violent past, as it turns out, had started forming a worrying pattern.
In response to mounting concerns about Redden’s repeated criminal behavior, a judge previously presiding over his case had made an important decision in May. Believing that competency was involved in Redden’s decisions, the judge decreed for a professional evaluation of his mental faculties, sending him to a state behavioral institution.
After the mental assessment and corrective treatment, Redden was declared competent by court officials in October. Recognizing his criminal wrongdoing, he decided to submit a guilty plea the following month. However, complications arose in December when he failed to show up for a scheduled court appointment, prompting Judge Holthus to issue an arrest warrant.
Upon apprehension, Redden was processed at the Clark County jail, facing additional charges of battery and battery on a protected individual. One of these charges pertains to the direct attack on Judge Holthus, indicating that her assault resulted in substantial harm. Redden, following his volatile episode, was scheduled to appear before court at 9 a.m. the next day.
Judge Holthus, elected to her judicial post in 2018 by the voters, has a notable career history. She has served the Clark County community through her position in the District Attorney’s Office. Her tenure is distinguished by numerous cases of domestic violence and sexual assault that she courageously mediated.
In the aftermath of the scuffle, it emerged that Judge Holthus sustained a head injury, yet luckily, it was not life-threatening. Furthermore, a marshal on duty was also injured during the assault on the judge, demonstrating the severity and chaos of the situation that unfolded.
Redden’s previous encounters with the judicial system under the supervision of Judge Holthus were for different criminal charges. It involved his implication in the malicious destruction of property. It’s documented that he spent a year in prison on a related domestic battery charge, fulfilling his sentence from 2021.
Further digging into Redden’s judicial past reveals another glimpse into his ongoing conflict with the law. Different judges had dealt with his cases, one of which resulted in a prison sentence spanning anywhere between 12 to 30 months. Despite his criminal rap sheet, Redden enjoyed a short taste of freedom when he was granted parole in 2022.
Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson was among the first to respond to the incident publicly. The top law enforcement officer expressed relief that Judge Holthus was safe, calling her escape from the incident a divine intervention. He hailed the marshal and law clerk as heroes for their brave action in preventing the situation from worsening.
Wolfson’s unequivocal words communicate a stark appraisal of the defendant’s actions. Recognizing the violent outbreak in the courtroom as an unmitigated show of hostility, he voiced confidence in the justice system’s ability to deliver appropriate repercussions for Redden.
As the case progresses and Redden’s conduct is scrutinized, it is expected that the courtroom, much like the citizens of Clark County, will look forward to a resolution. The incident resides in stark contrast to the calm, regulated environment expected of a courtroom and serves as a reminder to reinforce safety measures in judicial buildings.
In the aftermath of the shocking incident, there was no immediate commentary from Redden’s legal counsel. The silence reigns in as we reflect on the evolving narrative of a man whose choices have placed himself, and others, in a perilous situation.