The California man arrested outside the home of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh has been charged with attempted assassination.
The suspect, 26-year-old Nicholas Roske, was arrested June 8 outside Kavanaugh’s Maryland home. He now faces a life sentence if convicted of the alleged attempted murder.
Prosecutors say Roske traveled from California to the judge’s home in Chevy Chase, Maryland, with intent to kill Kavanaugh.
Roske pulled into a cab near the home shortly after 1 a.m. on June 8, carrying a suitcase with a gun and ammunition, a chest tactical device with pepper spray and a knife, along with a flashlight, laser, thermal imaging scope and other burglary tools , according to court records.
Federal officials said Roske said he bought the gun to kill Kavanaugh and also planned to kill himself.
He was arrested by Montgomery County, Maryland police after calling 911 and telling a police dispatcher he was near Kavanaugh’s home and planning to kill himself.
Roske faces a life sentence if convicted.
Just an hour earlier, the suspect flew to Washington, DC from his native California and took a cab direct to the conservative lawyer’s home.
He soon backed away from the plan, however, and called police around 1:40 a.m., to which he confessed his desire to kill the judge — as well as himself — and asked for “psychiatric help.”
The California man arrested outside the home of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh has been charged with attempted assassination
The suspect, 26-year-old Nicholas Roske, was arrested June 8 outside Kavanaugh’s Maryland home
Roske pulled into a taxi near the home shortly after 1 a.m. on June 8, carrying a suitcase with a gun and ammunition, a chest tactical device with pepper spray and a knife, as well as a flashlight, laser, thermal imaging scope and other burglary tools , according to court records
Federal officials said Roske said he bought the gun to kill Kavanaugh and also planned to kill himself. A pro-life protester is pictured chalking a slogan outside Kavanaugh’s Maryland home in September 2021
Officers promptly arrested Roske outside the residence and found him with a disturbing arsenal of weapons, including a handgun, tactical gear, a knife and zip ties.
He told police he bought the equipment “to break into the judge’s residence and kill the judge and himself,” court documents show.
Roske told police he was upset by a leaked draft opinion suggesting the Supreme Court ruled Roe v. Wade, the landmark abortion case.
He also said he was upset by the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, and believes Kavanaugh will vote to relax gun control laws, according to prosecutors.
Police later revealed that Roske was persuaded to take down the plot by his sister, who he texted after seeing two Deputy US Marshals guarding the home.
The suspect plotted the assassination of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh due to outrage over alleged plans to have Roe v. However, to overthrow Wade was persuaded by his sister to abandon the plot
“The suspect arrived in a cab and watched the U.S. Marshals, and he turned to consider his next move,” Montgomery County Police Chief Marcus Jones told The Washington Post Monday.
The boss further revealed that upon witnessing the marshals, a terrified Roske walked a block from Kavanaugh’s home and reportedly spent half an hour debating whether to go ahead with his plan, and texted his sibling for guidance sent.
After 30 minutes of back and forth, Mrs. Roske, who was not named by the police, convinced her to call off the attack.
“It was at that moment that he texted his sister and told her of his intentions, and she convinced him to call 911, which he did,” Jones said.
At that point, Jones said, Roske had called 911 twice — once at 1:38 a.m. and again at 1:39 a.m. — to turn himself in to authorities in what appeared to be a call for help from the now-detained suspect.
“I need psychiatric help,” he told them, admitting he had traveled to hurt “Brett Kavanaugh … the Supreme Court Justice.”
Roske told the 911 operator that he had suicidal and homicidal thoughts in addition to his intention to assassinate the sitting Supreme Court Justice, newly released 911 call records obtained by the Washington Examiner Division.
“I’ve had them for a long time,” Roske said. ‘I’m from California. I came here to influence her.’
Roske explained how he wanted to hurt someone and himself.
On 911 calls, Roske (left and right) reportedly told operators he was upset about the leak of a recent Supreme Court draft decision on abortion rights, as well as the recent school shootings in Uvalde, Texas. In older photos he is shown left and right
“I brought a gun, but it’s unloaded and locked in the case… It’s in a case. It’s a black suitcase… I’m standing next to it, but the suitcase is closed with a zipper. I’ve just come from the airport.”
Andrew Szekely, a federal public defender representing Roske, did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment on the charges.
He previously declined to comment on the case after Roske’s first court appearance on the day of his arrest.
The indictment comes a day after the House of Representatives finally approved legislation that would allow around-the-clock security protection for the families of Supreme Court justices.
The Senate unanimously passed the law last month, but things bogged down in the House of Representatives as Democrats tried to extend the measure to protect families of court employees.
Republicans ramped up pressure to pass the bill after Roske’s arrest at the Kavanaugh home.
FILE – Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh stands during a group photo at the Supreme Court in Washington on April 23, 2021. The California man arrested near the Maryland home of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of attempted murder of a United States judge. (Erin Schaff/The New York Times via AP, Pool)
FILE – U.S. Marshals patrol the home of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in Chevy Chase, Md on June 8, 2022 in an attempt to assassinate a United States judge. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, file)
FBI agents were seen at Roske’s home in Simi Valley, California, last Wednesday night after he was arrested on the alleged assassination attempt
Roske made two calls to 911, initially hung up and promised to call back with his location.
“I’m standing now, but I can sit, whatever. I want to be fully compliant. So whatever they want from me, I will do it.” Roske told the emergency services operator.
Roske had arrived with tools to facilitate a burglary, including a gun and even a special pair of walking shoes with soles that allowed smoother movement around a house.
When police searched Roske’s locked bag and suitcase, they found two magazines and ammunition along with a newly purchased handgun, black chest tactical device, tactical knife and pepper spray.
Roske also had a hammer, screwdriver, nail driver, crowbar, and hiking shoes along with zip ties and duct tape.
During a confession to the 911 operator, he explained how he left his home in California while his parents were on vacation in Hawaii and stowed all of his tools and guns in his luggage.
When asked why he plans to hurt himself and Kavanaugh, he said, “I didn’t think I could get away with it.”
Kavanaugh is one of six justices in the court’s conservative wing, up against three progressives, but he’s not considered as hard-headed as Alito or some of the others on the bench.
A Washington-born Catholic, his appointment to the High Court in 2018 sparked particularly heated debates about his views on women and abortion rights.
His confirmation gave the Conservatives a 5-4 majority in the court, which grew further when Catholic, outspokenly anti-abortion judge Amy Coney Barrett joined in October 2020.
The leak of Alito’s draft opinion sparked speculation that someone was hoping to nudge the court one way or the other in its final decision on the abortion case.
Some analysts believe that Roberts and Kavanaugh could take a moderating position in the final ruling to partially uphold abortion protections in the original 1973 Roe v Wade decision.