In an alternative world, Deobra Delone Redden could have been a great linebacker in professional football. Alas, Redden has become famous for a leap of a different kind. On January 3, 2024, Redden was in the Superior Court of Clark County in Nevada before the Honorable Judge Mary Kay Holthus. Redden had plead guilty to attempted battery with substantial bodily harm. Redden’s own brother in law had called the police after Redden attempted to hit him with a baseball bat in 2023.
Mr. Redden and his attorney had asked Judge Holthus to sentence him to probation. The judge disagreed, citing his long history of criminal convictions, including domestic violence. Judge Holthus was about to read out his sentence when Redden suddenly leaped over the courtroom bench and assaulted the judge. The court clerk and several men eventually subdue Redden. Redden’s jump was captured on video. Judge Holthus and one of the bailiffs were injured during the incident.
On January 8, 2024, Redden appeared again before Judge Holthus. This time, Redden was shackled, wearing a mask, and orange mitts on his hands while flanked by security guards. Judge Holthus sentenced him to 19 to 48 months in prison, which the judge stated was the original sentence she had intended to impose before Redden interrupted her.
Redden faces 13 new charges for the incident on January 3rd, including coercion with force or a threat of force, extortion, intimidating a public officer with a threat of force, and disregarding the safety of a person resulting in significant bodily harm. Redden will appear before a different judge for these additional charges. He could face decades in prison if he’s convicted of the new charges.
Judicial Impartiality Even When the Defendant Attacks the Court
There has been much internet discussion about whether Judge Holthus can sentence Redden after he attacked her. Judge Holthus may (justifiably) harbor some resentment towards Redden after he jumped her. However, Judge Holthus was only continuing the original sentencing hearing that Redden interrupted. Judge Holthus claims that she imposed the sentence that she had originally intended to give him before the incident, and attached her calendar as an exhibit if Redden appeals the sentence on the grounds that she was biased towards him. Redden will be facing a new judge when he is arraigned on the new charges brought against him.
Redden could arguably still be fairly sentenced by a judge that he had assaulted. First, there are guidelines that contain maximum penalties for criminal charges. The guidelines would curb any potential bias by a vindictive judge. Second, most judges would give a significant sentence for any defendant who jumped over the desk and attacked a judge in the middle of a sentencing hearing. The sentence is most likely fair if a reasonable and objective judge would give the same sentence – it just happens that attacking a judge would carry with it significant prison time.
Finally, any inequity that Redden experiences is solely by his own hands. If the sentencing judge – or any judge – is allegedly biased against him, it’s because he assaulted a sitting judge. Redden is entirely the author of any punishment that may be come his way.
Do I Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer?
A mistrial or other serious error could occur if the prosecution violates criminal procedure rules. It is therefore important for any person being charged with a crime to work with a skilled criminal defense lawyer. Remember, with criminal charges, access to a criminal defense attorney is your right.
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