March 2, 2024

Three-time felon was about to be sentenced before attack

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A man attacked a Las Vegas judge in her courtroom Wednesday, forcing her to take cover and injuring a marshal in the process, video the 8 News Now Investigators obtained reveals.

Deobra Redden, 30, a three-time felon, was in Clark County District Court Judge Mary Kay Holthus’ courtroom for sentencing on a charge of attempted battery with substantial bodily harm, records said.

Around 11 a.m. Holthus was sitting behind the bench when Redden ran up to her, jumped over the bench and attacked her, video shared with the 8 News Now Investigators showed. Several other people then fought with Redden before throwing him to the ground. An alarm also sounded for several minutes alerting others to the incident.

The 8 News Now Investigators first published the video on 8newsnow.com.

Before the attack, Redden’s attorney asked Holthus to sentence his client to probation. Holthus then said, “I think it’s time he get a taste of something else.”

On April 23, Redden “[threatened] to bust the kneecaps” of another man, “resulting in substantial bodily harm,” documents said.

In May, a different judge ordered Redden to undergo a competency determination, records said. Redden was then committed to a state behavioral facility. A judge then found Redden competent in October.

Deobra Redden, 30, a three-time felon, was in Clark County District Court Judge Mary Kay Holthus’ courtroom for sentencing on a charge of attempted battery with substantial bodily harm, records said. (KLAS)

Redden pleaded guilty in November. Judge Holthus issued a bench warrant for his arrest in December after he missed a court appearance.

Redden was booked into the Clark County jail on new charges of battery and battery on a protected person. One count of the battery-on-a-protected-person charge indicated the victim was “substantially harmed.” He was due in court on the new charges at 9 a.m. Thursday.

Clark County District Court Judge Mary Kay Holthus rubs her head after she stands up after a courtroom attack on Jan. 3, 2024. (KLAS)

Voters elected Holthus to the bench in 2018. She previously worked for the Clark County District Attorney’s Office. She often hears domestic violence and sex assault cases.

Holthus hit her head, but was OK, sources said. A court spokesperson said Holthus’ injuries were “being monitored.” A marshal was taken to a hospital. He was listed in stable condition as of Wednesday afternoon, a spokesperson said.

“We commend the heroic acts of her staff, law enforcement, and all others who subdued the defendant,” the court spokesperson added. “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.”

Redden was previously in front of Holthus on charges of malicious destruction of property. Records show he served prison time on a domestic battery charge for a year, starting in 2021. In that case, a different judge sentenced Redden to prison for a term of 12-30 months. A board granted Redden parole in 2022.

A prior booking photo for Deobra Redden, 30. (NDOC/KLAS)

“Thank God the judge is okay,” Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson said in a statement. “Thank God for the heroic efforts of those who came to her aid, especially her marshal and her law clerk. Without them, the situation would have been much worse as this defendant exhibited extremely violent behavior and I’m confident there will be consequences.”

“Sending our sincerest well wishes to District Court Judge Mary Kay Holthus and the marshal injured in her courtroom today,” Democratic Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford said in a statement. “Your dedication to justice and the court are truly commendable. We wish you both a swift recovery.”

Redden’s attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The 8 News Now Investigators also asked the court for a comment.

To contact investigative reporters David Charns and Vanessa Murphy, email [email protected] or [email protected].