By KEN RITTER
LAS VEGAS (AP) — A man who leaped over a judicial bench and attacked a Nevada judge on video last week was shackled and closely watched Monday as he appeared before the same judge and was sentenced to up to four years in state prison.
The punishment was handed down in connection with an attempted battery charge dating to last year that the defendant pleaded guilty to in November and was in court to be sentenced for on Jan. 3 when he rushed the judge. “I want to make it clear I am not changing or modifying the sentence I was in the process of imposing last week before I was interrupted by the defendant’s actions,” Clark County District Court Judge Mary Kay Holthus said as Deobra Delone Redden stood in shackles before her. He was flanked by jail security guards, with a mask covering part of his face and orange mitts on his hands.
While the sentence could last up to four years, Redden could be paroled in 19 months, depending on his behavior in prison and decisions made by a parole board.
Neither Redden nor his lawyer, Caesar Almase, was asked to speak during Monday’s brief court appearance. Redden is slated to appear before a different judge Tuesday regarding 15 new felony and misdemeanor charges related to the courtroom attack. He could face decades in prison if he’s convicted.
Almase declined to comment outside court. He will not represent Redden on Tuesday because he witnessed the courtroom attack.
Redden, 30, had been telling Holthus on Wednesday that he was “in a better place” mentally and didn’t think he should be sent to prison. But when the judge made it clear she was going to have him locked up, he vaulted the defense table and dove over the judge’s bench, landing atop Holthus. Video showed her fall back against a wall and an American flag toppling forward onto the bench.
Holthus suffered some injuries but was back to work the next day.
Redden had to be wrestled off the judge by several court officers, jail security and courtroom staff members, including some who were seen on video throwing punches. One marshal was hospitalized with a bleeding gash on his forehead and a dislocated shoulder. He was in the courtroom again on Monday, wearing street clothes and a baseball cap.
Redden’s foster mother, Karen Springer; and older sister, LaDonna Daniels, told reporters outside court that Redden has been diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, though court records show he was found competent to stand trial.
“No disrespect. We’re not denying what he did,” Springer said, noting that she was shocked on Jan. 3 when Redden, in her words, “just snapped.”
“He struggles with his illness,” Daniels said, explaining that her brother hadn’t been in treatment recently. “It’s a chemical imbalance. I don’t think sending him to prison will help.”
Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson said Redden’s adult criminal history included convictions for three felonies and nine misdemeanors, mostly involving violent acts. The community needs to be protected, he said.
“Sometimes we give too many people too many chances,” the prosecutor said. “This is a situation where Mr. Redden was given too many chances.”
A courtroom marshal told Las Vegas police that after Redden was handcuffed and taken to a holding cell Jan. 3 that he said he believed the judge was “evil” and “has it out for me.”
Redden remained jailed Monday on $54,000 bail pending his Tuesday court appearance on charges including attempted murder, extortion, coercion with force and battery on a protected person, referring to the judge and the officers who came to her aid. ___ Associated Press writer Rio Yamat in Las Vegas contributed to this report.