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Man seen in video attacking judge to remain in custody with bail

Updated January 4, 2024 - 7:47 pm

A man seen in a video violently launching himself at a Las Vegas judge refused to go to court Thursday and will remain in custody with a $54,000 bond.

Deobra Redden, 30, would only need to post $8,100 to be released from custody before his next court appearance. Under Nevada law, a bail bondsman must charge 15 percent of the bond amount for a defendant to post bail.

Redden was appearing in court on Wednesday to be sentenced in an attempted battery case when he was accused of attacking District Judge Mary Kay Holthus. Video posted online — with 1.4 million views on YouTube alone — showed him jumping over the defense table and the judge’s bench, moments after she said she would not sentence him to probation, according to an arrest report released Thursday.

Holthus and the courtroom marshal, Shane Brandon, were both injured, but Holthus returned to work Thursday, officials said.

Redden faces charges of coercion with force or threat of force, extortion, intimidating a public officer with threat of force, disregarding the safety of a person resulting in substantial bodily harm, battery by a probationer or parolee, unlawful act regarding bodily fluid by a prisoner in confinement and seven counts of battery on a protected person.

He is in custody at the Clark County Detention Center, but he refused to be transported for an initial appearance Thursday in front of Judge Pro Tempore Lauren Diefenbach.

During the hearing, prosecutors asked for Redden to be held without bail because he is accused of attacking Holthus while he had an active criminal case. Diefenbach instead ruled that his bail should remain at $54,000 until attorneys can present arguments at a later date.

“I’m uncomfortable making any decisions without the defendant present,” Diefenbach said.

She ordered Redden back in court on Tuesday for another hearing.

Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson said he was “disappointed” that Redden was not denied bail.

“We asked that he be detained because we strongly believe that he’s a danger to the community,” Wolfson said. “The world has seen what happened yesterday, this person’s behavior in court, and I’ve almost seen nothing else like this.”

The video showed uniformed officers, attorneys and the judge’s clerk swarming the defendant and restraining him after he launched himself over the bench.

While restraining Redden, the marshal tripped, splitting his head open on the judge’s bench, and dislocated his shoulder, according to an arrest report released Thursday.

Holthus’ head hit the wall, and Redden attacked the judge by pulling her hair and hitting her, the report said. Police said Holthus was hospitalized with lower back pain on Wednesday.

‘Extremely grateful for those who took brave action’

During a news conference Thursday afternoon, Chief Judge Jerry Wiese credited the judge’s clerk, Michael Lasso, with being the “primary person” who first pulled Redden away from the judge. He said Lasso suffered some cuts to his hands.

“Judge Holthus wanted me to convey a statement,” Wiese told reporters on Thursday. “She wanted me to thank all of the well-wishers and others who have expressed concern for her and her staff. She is extremely grateful for those who took brave action during the attack.”

Wiese also announced that the District Court is looking to hire more marshals for “high-risk” courtrooms after the attack. Although Wiese said he doubted if a second marshal would have prevented Redden from throwing himself at the judge, he said additional marshals in the courthouse would improve security.

“I don’t know what could have prevented this,” Wiese said. “I think that we are looking at every opportunity we can to make things better.”

Wiese said Holthus plans to oversee Redden’s sentencing hearing in the attempted battery case on Jan. 8.

“She remains sore and stiff but thankful it was not more severe,” Wiese said.

Criminal past

Redden has an extensive criminal history in Las Vegas dating to 2011, court records show.

He had most recently pleaded guilty to the felony charge of attempted battery with substantial bodily harm, after prosecutors accused Redden of threatening to “bust” another man’s kneecaps and swinging a bat at him, according to court records.

Holthus has previously sentenced Redden to probation, in February 2023, after he pleaded guilty to malicious destruction of property. Prosecutors accused Redden of attempting to invade a home and damaging the house.

Redden’s probation was revoked in November, the same month he pleaded guilty to the recent attempted battery charge and was released on his own recognizance, court records show. His underlying sentence of a year in county jail was imposed, but it was unclear in court records if he had served any time after the probation revocation.

Court records show that Redden has gone through the District Court’s mental health court program twice since 2020.

He has been convicted in three prior felony cases: attempted theft in 2015, battery with substantial bodily harm in 2018 and battery constituting domestic violence in 2021.

Redden has previously been accused of kicking an officer while he was being arrested in 2016 and biting a woman and breaking a vehicle’s windows as part of the 2018 battery charge, court records show.

Redden was out of custody and was not handcuffed before he attacked the judge, as defendants are typically not restrained until their sentence is imposed.

The video also showed a marshal standing close to Redden when he spoke to the judge, asking to be placed on probation.

“Mr. Redden’s reaction happened so quickly I don’t know if anything could have been done to prevent him from what he did,” Wolfson said after Thursday’s court hearing.

Wiese said that although officials are reviewing security measures at the courthouse, he agreed that it appeared Redden “moved too quick” to be restrained.

“This is a very unique situation, that as far as I know has never happened before — somebody ‘Superman-ing’ over a judicial bench,” he said.

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240. Review-Journal staff writer David Wilson contributed to this report.

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