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The suspect, 26-year-old Nicholas Roske, was arrested outside Kavanaugh’s home in Maryland Wednesday, just before 2am
The man charged with the attempted murder of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh was convinced to abandon the plot by his sister, police have revealed.
The suspect, 26-year-old Nicholas Roske, was arrested outside Kavanaugh’s home in Maryland Wednesday, just before 2am.
Just an hour before, the suspect flew into Washington, DC, from his native California, taking a taxi directly to the conservative jurist’s home.
He soon backed out of the plan, however, putting a call into cops at roughly 1:40 am that saw him confess his desire to kill the judge – as well as himself – and ask for ‘psychiatric help.’
Officers promptly arrested Roske outside the residence, finding him with a disturbing arsenal of weapons including a handgun, tactical gear, a knife, and zip ties.
He told cops he purchased the equipment ‘for the purpose of breaking into the justice’s residence and killing the justice as well as himself,’ court documents show.
Police had been puzzled as to why the suspect, who lives in Los Angeles’ Simi valley, traveled such a distance to carry out the planned hit only to back out at the last minute.
However, cops now reveal that Roske, who reportedly targeted Kavanaugh due to outrage over the court’s rumored plans to overturn Roe v. Wade, was persuaded to nix the plot by his sister, whom he texted after he saw two deputy U.S. marshals guarding the house.
The suspect planned to murder of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh due to outrage over rumored plans to overturn Roe v. Wade, but was convinced to abandon the plot by his sister
‘The suspect arrived by taxi and observed the U.S. marshals, and he turned around to contemplate his next move,’ Montgomery County Police Chief Marcus Jones told The Washington Post Monday.
The chief further revealed that upon witnessing the marshals, a spooked Roske walked a block away from Kavanaugh’s home, and reportedly deliberated on whether to execute his plot for half an hour, texting his sibling for guidance.
After 30 minutes of back-and-forth, the woman, who was not named by police, convinced Roske to call off the hit.
‘This is when 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 called 911 twice – once at 1:38am and again at 1:39am – to turn himself into authorities, in what appeared to be a cry for help from the now incarcerated suspect.
‘I need psychiatric help,’ he told them, admitting he’d traveled to hurt ‘Brett Kavanaugh … the Supreme Court justice.’
Roske told the 911 operator that as well as his intention to assassinate the sitting Supreme Court justice, he was having suicidal and homicidal thoughts, newly released 911 call records obtained by the Washington Examiner detail.
‘I’ve been having them for a long time,’ Roske said. ‘I’m from California. I came over here to act on them.’
Roske explained how he intended to hurt someone and himself.
Roske, pictured, told the 911 operator that as well as an intention to assassinate the sitting Supreme Court justice, he was having suicidal and homicidal thoughts
In 911 calls, Roske (left and right) allegedly told operators that he was upset about the leak of a recent Supreme Court draft decision regarding the right to abortion as well as the recent school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. He is pictured left and right in older photos
‘I brought a firearm with me, but it’s unloaded and locked in the case… It’s in a suitcase. It’s a black suitcase… I’m standing near it, but the suitcase is zip-tied shut. I just came from the airport.’
Roske placed two calls to 911 at first hanging up and promising 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 me to do, I’ll do.’ Roske told the 911 operator.
FBI agents are seen inside Roske’s Simi Valley, California, home last Wednesday night after he was arrested for the alleged assassination plot
Roske had travelled with tools to facilitate a burglary, including a gun and even a special pair of hiking boots with soles that allowed for quieter movement inside a house.
When police conducted a search of Roske’s locked bag and suitcase, they found two magazines and ammunition together with a newly bought pistol, a black tactical chest rig, a tactical knife, and pepper spray.
Roske also had a hammer, screwdriver, nail punch, crow bar, and hiking boots together with zip ties and duct tape.
During a confession to the 911 operator, he explained how he had left his home in California while his parents were on vacation in Hawaii and stashed all of his tools and weapons into his luggage.
After being asked why he planned to hurt himself and Kavanaugh, he said: ‘I didn’t think I could get away with it.’
Roske later told investigators he angry about the possibility of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade in the coming months.
He also said the was unhappy at a potential role Kavanaugh might play during a loosening of gun laws in a separate high-profile case that has yet to come before the court.
Protesters returned to Kavanaugh’s Maryland home just hours after Roske was arrested while carrying a disturbing arsenal of weapons and equipment
A woman holding a ‘liar’ sign with Kavanaugh’s face on it and another saying ‘mind your own uterus’ walk outside his home on Wednesday night
Roske is now in custody and has been slapped with federal charges of ‘attempted murder of a Supreme Court Justice.’
He faces a maximum of 20 years in prison if convicted, as well as up to a $50,000 fine.
The arrest came as the court prepares to release potentially landmark judgements on politically charged cases on gun rights and abortion by the end of June.
A draft opinion in the abortion case that was leaked at the beginning of May, written by conservative Justice Samuel Alito, suggested that the court was poised to overturn the five-decade-old Roe v Wade ruling that said women had a constitutional right to obtain abortions.
If Alito’s draft opinion goes through with support from a majority of the justices, it will likely allow many states to immediately implement full or near-full bans on the procedure.
Kavanaugh and his wife are the parents of two young daughters. They all reside in the home that was apparently targeted by the suspect
The prospect has sparked anger and dismay among advocates of abortion rights, and led to protests at the homes of Kavanaugh, Alito and Chief Justice John Roberts.
After the leak and the protests, security was increased for the justices and barriers were raised around the court itself to prevent protestors from nearing the building.
Attorney General Merrick Garland referred to the threat Roske posed during a press conference on Wednesday.
‘It’s obviously behavior that we will not tolerate. Threats of violence and actual violence against the justices, of course, strike at the heart of our democracy. And we will do everything we can to prevent them and to hold people who do them accountable,’ Garland said.
Police stand guard as abortion rights activists protest near the house of US Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in Chevy Chase, Maryland in September 2021
Kavanaugh is one of six justices in the court’s conservative wing, against three progressives, but he is not viewed as being as hardline as Alito or some of the others on the bench.
A Catholic native of Washington, his nomination in 2018 to the high court drew particularly heated debates over his views toward women and abortion rights.
His confirmation gave conservatives a 5-4 majority on the court, which grew further when Catholic, stridently anti-abortion Justice Amy Coney Barrett joined in October 2020.
The leak of the Alito draft opinion sparked speculation that someone was hoping to push the court in one direction or another in its final ruling on the abortion case.
Some analysts believe that Roberts and Kavanaugh could occupy a moderating position on the final judgement to partially sustain the abortion protections in the original 1973 Roe v Wade decision.
Transcript: Nicholas Roske 911 call
First call made at 1:38 a.m. Call lasts one minute and nine seconds.
[Roske sounds very distressed and confused. Can’t tell the dispatcher where he is and has to call back after he finds the street signs.]
Second call made at 1:39 a.m. Call lasts 14 minutes.
Roske: ‘I am having… thoughts. I’ve been having them for a long time. I came from California over here to act on them.’
Dispatcher: ‘Are you thinking of hurting anyone, including yourself?
Dispatcher: ‘Do you have access to weapons?’
Roske: ‘Yes. I brought a firearm with me but it’s unloaded and locked in a case.’
Dispatcher: ‘Where is the firearm now?’
Roske: ‘It’s in a suitcase. It’s in a black suitcase. I’m standing near it but it’s zip tied shut, from, I just came from the airport.’
[Roske gives dispatcher a brief description of his appearance, height, weight and age, which he says is 26.]
Dispatcher: ‘Have you been using alcohol or drugs tonight?
Dispatcher: ‘Do you need medical attention?’
Roske: ‘I need psychiatric help. But no, I’m not injured, if that’s what you’re asking. Not physically.’
Dispatcher: ‘Ok, I want to make sure you understand. Don’t approach officers with any weapons in your hands. Make sure you keep your hands visible at all times. Make sure you follow their commands when they come out and speak with you. They’re going to be dispatched as soon as possible.’
[Roske tells the dispatcher he’s going to move away from the suitcase. Says he’s moving down the street, is about 20 yards away.]
Dispatcher: ‘Do you have any other weapons with you?’
Roske: ‘There are other weapons in the suitcase, but I don’t not have any in my possession.’
Dispatcher: ‘What other weapons are in the suitcase?’
Roske: ‘There’s pepper spray. There’s a knife. There are various tools. No other firearms. No explosives. Nothing like that.’
Dispatcher: ‘You said you came from California. Do you know someone down here?’
Roske: ‘Brett Kavanaugh.’
Dispatcher: ‘You said red, like the color?’
Roske: ‘Brett. The Supreme Court justice.’
Dispatcher: ‘OK. You came alone?’
Dispatcher: ‘What were you coming to do, just to hurt yourself and him? Or what was going to happen?’
Dispatcher: ‘And again, you’re still sitting on the curb?’
Roske: ‘I’m standing now but I can sit. I want to be fully compliant. Whatever they want me to do, I’ll do.’