LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The man who attacked a Las Vegas judge as she was sentencing him Wednesday told corrections officers he had a bad day and tried to kill her, according to documents the 8 News Now Investigators obtained.

As the 8 News Now Investigators first reported, 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. As Holthus was getting ready to sentence Redden to prison time, he lunged over the bench and attacked her.

A photo showing blood on Judge Mary Kay Holthus’ courtroom bench from the attack on Jan. 3, 2024. (KLAS)

Holthus was about to deny Redden’s probation request 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. The ensuing struggle lasted several minutes.

Holthus’ marshal, identified as Shane Brandon, received 25 stitches to a gash on his face, documents said. Brandon was preparing to handcuff Redden at the time. He also dislocated his shoulder.

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

After leaping over the bench, Redden allegedly slammed Holthus’ head against a wall, struck her once on the head, and pulled some hair out of her head, documents said. She then hid under her desk “balled up covering her face.”

Holthus described Redden “as being ‘big, strong and angry,'” police said. Medical personnel treated her in the justice center. A family member later brought her to a hospital due to her continued pain.

Redden also hit and punched a corrections officer who was present in the courtroom, documents said. Holthus’ law clerk, Michael Lasso, was cut several times on his hand in the melee.

Photos showed a bloody scene, with blood on Holthus’ bench and on documents scattered in the area.

Daniel Martin, a witness who was in the courtroom, described the attack to the 8 News Now Investigators.

“It was just a total chaotic commotion,” Martin said. “Honestly, I was super surprised like I’ve never seen anything like that in my whole life, that looked like something out of the NFL or something like that.”

Martin said he wanted to help the judge, but his public defender told him to stay back.

“I was in conflict cause as a natural man you want to protect a woman,” Martin said.

After the attack, in a holding cell near the courtroom, Redden reportedly told an officer, “Judge has it out for me,” “Judge is evil,” “I’m sorry you guys had to see that,” documents said. Another officer said Redden asked him if what he did was wrong.

A Hazmat crew then cleaned the courtroom, police said.

While at CCDC, Redden allegedly spit in a corrections officer’s face, police said.

Chief Judge Jerry Wiese said Holthus returned to work Thursday.

Also on Thursday, Redden refused to show up for his initial appearance in the same building where the attack happened the day before. He was scheduled to return to court on Jan. 9.

Holthus was scheduled to continue the sentencing hearing on her case on Monday, Jan. 8. The case is unrelated to the new charges related to the Jan. 3 incident.

Redden faced new charges as of Thursday:

  • Coercion w/force or threat of force
  • Extortion
  • Intimidate public officers/others, with the use of force
  • Disregard the safety of person/property
  • Battery by prisoner, probationer, or parolee 
  • Unlaw act to excrete/fluid by a prisoner in a confined area
  • Battery on a protected person

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.

Redden, who appeared in court with his mother, has three felony convictions and nine misdemeanor convictions on his record, according to documents the 8 News Now Investigators obtained. Some of those cases were transferred to mental health court.