Twenty-six-year-old Nicholas John Roske of California was indicted Wednesday on federal charges of attempting to murder a Supreme Court justice, the DOJ said in a press release, noting that his initial appearance has not yet been scheduled.
Individuals charged by indictment are presumed innocent until proven guilty, the release said, noting that an indictment is not a finding of guilt.
“According to the one-count indictment and other court documents, on June 8, 2022, Roske intended to kill an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court,” the release said. “Court documents alleges that Roske traveled from California to Maryland, intending to kill the Supreme Court Justice, arriving at the residence of a current Justice of the Supreme Court in the early morning hours of June 8, 2022.”
If Roske is convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison for attempting to assassinate a United States justice. The DOJ release notes that actual sentences for federal crimes are usually less than the maximum penalty.
“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 release said.
A DOJ affidavit details how Roske allegedly traveled to Kavanaugh’s home armed with weapons and burglary tools with the intent to kill the justice and prevent him from ruling on Second Amendment and abortion cases.
“On June 8, 2022, at approximately 1:05 a.m., two United States Deputy Marshals saw an individual dressed in black clothing and carrying a backpack and a suitcase, get out of a taxicab that had stopped in front of the Montgomery County, Maryland, residence of a current Justice of the United States Supreme Court,” the affidavit said.
Roske looked at the two U.S. Marshals standing by their parked cars and then walked down the street, according to the affidavit.
The Montgomery County Emergency Communications Center then received a call from an individual who identified himself as Nicholas John Roske. He said he had suicidal thoughts, had a gun in his suitcase, and had come from California to kill “a specific United States Supreme Court Justice.”
Police were dispatched to the justice’s home, where they encountered Roske still on the phone with the Montgomery County Emergency Communications Center. The officers took Roske into custody “without incident.”
“An inventory search of the seized suitcase and backpack revealed a black tactical chest rig and tactical knife, a Glock 17 pistol with two magazines and ammunition, paper 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,” the affidavit said.
Roske told authorities 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 indicated that “he believed the Justice that he intended to kill would side with Second Amendment decisions that would loosen gun control laws.”
“Roske stated that he began thinking about how to give his life a purpose and decided that he would kill the Supreme Court Justice after finding the Justice’s Montgomery County address on the Internet,” the affidavit said. “Roske further indicated that he had purchased the Glock pistol and other items for the purpose of breaking into the Justice’s residence and killing the Justice as well as himself.”