Nevada judge assaulted by airborne defendant during sentencing in Vegas courtroom


A defendant in a felony battery case climbed over a defense table and the judge’s bench, landing on her and triggering a violent brawl involving court officials and attorneys, according to officials and witnesses.

Clark County District Judge Mary Kay Holthus fell back from her seat against a wall and received some injuries but was not hospitalized, according to courthouse officials.

According to officials and witnesses, a courtroom marshal was also hurt while assisting the judge and was hospitalized for treatment of a gushing gash on his forehead and a dislocated shoulder.

The attack happened at 11 a.m. at the Las Vegas Regional Justice Center.

Several court and jail officials and courtroom staff members, including several who are seen throwing blows, wrestled the defendant, Deobra Delone Redden, 30, to the floor behind the judge’s bench.

He was arrested and detained at the Clark County Detention Center, where records show he is facing a slew of new criminal charges, including battery on a protected person (the judge and court officers).


“It happened so fast it was difficult to know what to do,” said Richard Scow, the chief county district attorney who prosecuted Redden in a case stemming from an arrest last year on claims that Redden assaulted someone with a baseball bat.

Caesar Almase, Redden’s defense attorney, did not reply to phone and email messages seeking comment.

Nevada judge assaulted by airborne defendant during sentencing in Vegas courtroom

When Redden arrived in court on Wednesday, he was not in custody. He stood next to Almase in a white shirt and dark pants, pleading with the judge for mercy and presenting himself as “a person who never stops trying to do the right thing no matter how hard it is.”

“I’m not a rebellious person,” he told the judge, later adding that he did not believe he should be imprisoned. “But if it’s appropriate for you then you have to do what you have to do.”

Redden yelled expletives and pushed forward as the judge made it obvious she planned to throw him behind jail, and the court marshal moved to handcuff him — amid shouts from others in the courtroom audience who had been seated with Redden.

Redden, a Las Vegas resident, was assessed and ruled mentally competent to stand trial before pleading guilty in November to a lesser charge of attempted violence causing significant bodily damage, according to court records. According to state records, he previously served time in jail in Nevada for domestic violence.

Holthus, a professional prosecutor with over 27 years of experience in the courtroom, was elected to the state court bench in 2018 and again in 2022.

Court spokesperson Mary Ann Price said in a statement that officials are “reviewing all our protocols and will do whatever is necessary to protect the judiciary, the public, and our employees.”

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