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Judge ‘got into fetal position’ after defendant leaped over bench, described attack as ‘absolutely terrifying’

By Jaewon Jung

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    LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — It’s been more than a month since a defendant leaped over a Clark County District Court bench, launching an attack on Judge Mary Kay Holthus.

The moments caught on courtroom video have gone viral online.

Metro Police said the man who leaped the bench is 33-year-old Deobra Redden, who was being sentenced for battery charge at the time.

Redden was indicted by a grand jury last week on charges related to attack.

New transcripts released reveal what witnesses said about the terrifying moments.

Judge Holthus told grand jurors during her five years as a judge, she’s never dealt with a situation like this before.

“It happened incredibly fast,” she said. “I slammed against a wall. We have a marble wall behind my bench. My glasses flew, my head slammed against the wall.”

Holthus said the interaction started out calm and Redden explained he was doing better and how he was a changed person. But Holthus told him the problem was every time he got better, he would ‘get back out, somebody gets hurt or you do something scary.’

As she was about to sentence him, the attack happened. Holthus said she is thankful for her law clerk and marshal who were there by her side.

“I wouldn’t have survived the multiple blows to the head,” she said.

Holthus described Redden as ‘trampolines like Superman’ over the four-foot high bench. She said she was hiding under her bench in a fetal position until the situation was resolved.

She told jurors she is still dealing with physical and emotional pain from the attack.

“Even after I shower, I was still pulling, combing out chunks of hair,” Holthus said. “I was just achy like after you’ve been in a wreck.”

Michael Lasso, Holthus’ law clerk, also testified before grand jurors. He said he thought Redden was going for the courtroom door, at first.

“Occasionally, defendants do that, they try to run before going into custody,” said Lasso. “Then when I realized that he was going toward the judge, I honestly was just in shock.”

Once Redden was taken into custody, Lasso said he immediately went to check on the judge.

“When I was going to check on her I remember looking back and I remember seeing our marshal and his whole head was split open like an onion peel,” said Lasso.

That marshal, Shane Brandon, also testified before the grand jury and told jurors he would be out of work for six months.

“I remember blood was leaking from my head,” Brandon said. “Everybody was screaming, like, oh my God. You need to go sit down and get some help.”

Brandon said he’s sustained several injuries and has a long road to recovery.

“I had surgery on the 19th of January and I’m currently in rehab therapy,” Brandon said.

Redden is scheduled to be back in court for arraignment on February 29.

Chief Justice Jerry Weise said after the judge attack, several security changes have been made at the courthouse and more upgrades are on the way.

The county also approved $1.7 million for courtroom cameras and security locks, according to Weise.

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