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Nicholas John Roske: Everything we know about the man charged with attempted murder of Brett Kavanaugh

Nicholas John Roske, 26, has been charged with attempted murder

Bevan Hurley,Alex Woodward
Thursday 09 June 2022 14:53 BST
Armed man arrested near Justice Kavanaugh's Maryland home after making violent threats

A California man charged with the attempted murder of US Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh has been named as Nicholas John Roske.

Mr Roske was arrested overnight on 8 June after he called 911 near Justice Kavanaugh’s Maryland home to say he was suicidal and travelled to kill the conservative justice, according to a federal criminal complaint.

He was arrested at 1.50am armed with a Glock 17 handgun with two magazines and ammunition, a knife, pepper spray, a hammer, a screwdriver, a crow bar, zip ties and duct tape, according to investigators.

Nicholas Roske, right, has been charged with the attempted murder of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh

Mr Roske, 26, from Simi Valley, reportedly told police he was angry at Justice Kavanaugh about the leaked draft of a Supreme Court opinion that would overturn constitutional protections for abortion rights, as well as a recent school shooting massacre in Uvalde, Texas.

He reportedly told investigators that he believed Justice Kavanaught would “side with Second Amendment decisions that would loosen gun control laws,” according to the complaint.

Everything we know about the arrest

According to a criminal charging document, Mr Roske was seen getting out of a taxi in front of Justice Kavanaugh’s home in Chevy Chase, Maryland, just after 1am by US Marshals.

He was dressed in black clothing and carrying a backpack and a suitcase, an arrest affidavit states.

He looked at the US Marshals and then walked away from the justice’s property.

About 50 minutes later, Montgomery County Police Department officers responded to a call from Mr Roske saying he was considering harming himself and the judge, according to the affidavit.

He was taken into custody without incident and taken to a local police station.

Mr Roske was still on the phone with the emergency response call taker when he was arrested.

A search of his suitcase and backpack revealed a “black tactical chest rig and tactical knife, a pistol with two magazines and ammunition, pepper spray, zip ties, a hammer, screwdriver, nail punch, crow bar, pistol light, duct tape, hiking boots with padding on the outside of the soles, and other items,” according to law enforcement.

The criminal complaint states that he waived his right to silence and believed killing the justice would “give his life a purpose”.

He reportedly told an FBI agent that he intended to kill Justice Kavanaugh and then himself.

Mr Roske decided to travel from his home in California to kill Justice Kavanaugh after finding his address online.

Further, the complaint accuses Mr Roske of “attempts to kidnap or murder, or threatens to assault, kidnap or murder a United States Judge, to wit: a current Justice of the United States Supreme Court.” 

If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine a potential sentence after considering US Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Who is Nicholas Roske?

According to police, Mr Roske travelled to Maryland from his home in Simi Valley, about 40 miles (64kms) north west of downtown Los Angeles.

A Linkedin page which appears to belong to Mr Roske states that he works as an office manager at a pest control company.

Public records showed Mr Roske lived in a three bedroom home in Marsha Avenue.

A man and a woman in their 50s who share his surname are also listed living at the address. They could not immediately be reached for comment.

Citing law enforcement sources, media reports suggested Mr Roske was carrying a California driver’s license when he was arrested and had a previous address in the Seattle area.

Mr Roske made a brief appearance before Maryland Magistrate Judge Timothy Sullivan on Wednesday afternoon.

He agreed to remain in custody, and has been assigned a court-appointed attorney. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 22 June.

On Wednesday night, FBI agents raided Mr Roske’s Simi Valley home after obtaining a search warrant.

Witnesses told ABC7 that officers were canvassing the neighbourhood asking for information about the suspect.

“I just pray for the outcome and [Roske’s family] because they’re going through a lot right now,” a neighbour told ABC7.

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