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California suspect accused of attempted Kavanaugh assassination pleads not guilty

If convicted, Nicholas John Roske could face a maximum sentence of life in prison

Nicholas John Roske
Nicholas John Roske | Facebook

June 23, 2022 2:21pm

Updated: June 23, 2022 4:14pm

Nicholas John Roske, the Simi Valley, California defendant accused of traveling to Chevy Chase, Maryland on June 8 to try and assassinate of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, pleaded not guilty on Wednesday in U.S. District Court, Fox News reported.

Last week a federal grand jury in Greenbelt, Maryland indicted Roske, 26, on one count of attempting to murder a Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. If convicted, Roske could face a maximum sentence of life in prison, although the Justice Department stated that “sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties.”

The Justice Department released a statement about the charges. 

"The indictment includes a forfeiture allegation seeking the forfeiture of a firearm, two magazines loaded with 10 rounds each of 9mm ammunition; 17 rounds of ammunition contained in a plastic bag, a black speed loader, and additional items allegedly intended to be used in the commission of the crime," the statement said. 

Roske is believed to have been driven by his concerns about the leaked SCOTUS opinion, which suggested the Court would overturn the 1973 landmark pro-choice decision in Roe v. Wade.

ADN America has previously reported that Roske flew in from California, got out of a taxi near Kavanaugh's home just after 1 a.m. on June 8, and saw two deputy U.S. marshals standing outside their vehicle, according to court documents and Montgomery County police.

Roske then “turned around to contemplate his next move,” Montgomery County Police Chief Marcus Jones told the Washington Post. “This is when he texted his sister and told her of his intentions, and she convinced him to call 911, which he did.”

It's unknown what was said between Roske and his sister, but about a half hour passed between Roske seeing the marshals and calling 911. On the call, he told the Montgomery County Emergency Communications Center of his plans to kill Kavanaugh, according to court documents.

Minutes later, Montgomery County police officers arrived and took Roske into custody. He had in his possession a Glock 17 pistol with two magazines and ammunition, a pistol light, tactical knife, pepper spray, a hammer, screwdriver, nail punch, crow bar, duct tape, zip ties, hiking boots with padded outer soles to allow for stealthier movement, and other items.

The affidavit said Roske indicated to investigators he purchased the items “for the purpose of breaking into the justice's residence and killing the justice as well as himself.”

The Justice Dept. reported that Roske's initial appearance has not yet been scheduled.