Las Vegas Defendant Claims Insanity After Attempting to Kill Judge

Posted on: March 1, 2024, 09:27h. 

Last updated on: March 1, 2024, 10:35h.

Deobra Redden entered a plea on Thursday that he’s not guilty of violently attacking a Las Vegas judge two months ago because of insanity.

Deobra Redden
Deobra Redden appears in court earlier this year, pictured above. Redden is accused of attacking a judge and other staff in a Las Vegas courtroom. (Image: Info-Flash)

The 31-year-old defendant refrained from outbursts when he appeared in court on Thursday. He was wearing shackles and a mask over his face. Judge Susan Johnson scheduled his criminal trial to start on April 29.

On January 3, Redden hadn’t taken medication before he assaulted District Judge Mary Kay Holthus, according to his lawyer, Carl Arnold, and Redden’s relatives.

Holthus had just told Redden he was not getting probation, but was heading to prison for a prior attempted battery charge.

That led him to hurl obscenities and then jump onto the bench where the judge was seated. Redden tackled her, pulled her hair, grabbed her throat, and repeatedly punched her. He also attacked other staff in the courtroom.

The judge and staff suffered various injuries. Video of the attacks went viral on social media.

Just like everybody else in looking at the video, I thought Mr. Redden was either out of his mind or on drugs,” Arnold was quoted by Las Vegas TV station KSNV. “I came to find out he suffered from severe paranoid schizophrenia.”

Arnold added that Redden must be able “to help me in his own defense. He has to be able to testify if needed and understand what’s going on and the legal consequences of what’s going on.”

“At trial, we will be able to prove that because of his mental defect, that he suffered under [a] delusional state. That delusional state caused him not to be aware of the nature and circumstances of his actions,” Arnold explained.

Numerous Charges

Redden is charged with attempted murder and eight other counts for the January 3 violence. These include:

  • Battery on an officer resulting in substantial bodily harm
  • Battery on a protected person resulting in substantial bodily harm
  • Battery on a protected person
  • Battery by prisoner
  • Extortion by threat
  • Intimidating a public officer
  • Performance of act or neglect of duty in willful or wanton disregard of safety of persons or property resulting in substantial bodily harm or death
  • An unlawful act related to human excrement or bodily fluid

State of Mind

After Redden appeared in court on Thursday, his foster mother, Karen Springer, told reporters he had failed to take medications for several weeks before the incident and he was talking to himself in the mirror hours before he appeared in court.

He didn’t wake up and say I’m going to go kill a judge or something of that matter,” she said.

“Never in his mind did he think he was going to go back to prison, when it just wasn’t told to him,” Springer added about the events of January 3. “He’s thinking he’s just going to go, and the deal was already pleaded for him to just have probation.”