Supreme Court

Texts Between Suspect, Sister Outside Justice's Home May Have Saved Lives: Police Chief

On Wednesday, a federal jury indicted Nicholas John Roske, 26, on federal charges of attempting to murder Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh

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A text message exchange between a brother and a sister may have saved the life of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and others, Montgomery County Police Chief Marcus Jones said.

Nicholas John Roske texted his sister after seeing security outside Kavanaugh's home in Chevy Chase, Maryland, in the early-morning hours of June 8.

It's not known exactly what was said in the text message exchange between 26-year-old Roske and his sister in California, but Roske dialed 911 about 35 minutes after stepping out of a cab and seeing security outside Kavanaugh’s home.

"The gist of what we understand is that he told his sister what his plans were, that he did plan to come up and to basically kill Justice Kavanaugh," Chief Jones said. "But he also said in the midst of his overall plan, he was going to commit suicide as well. And so his sister did, I think, the most honorable thing. She convinced him to contact 911."

In the 911 call, Roske told the call-taker that he had a suitcase with a firearm inside it.

"You have any other weapons with you?" the 911 call-taker asked him.

Roske replied, "There are other weapons in the suitcase, but I do not have any in my possession."

The 911 call-taker asked, "What other weapons are in the suitcase?"

"Ah, there is pepper spray; there is a knife; there are various, um, tools," Roske responded. "Not other firearms. No explosives, nothing like that."

A man carrying a gun, a knife and zip ties was arrested Wednesday near Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh's home in Montgomery County, Maryland, after threatening to kill the justice, authorities say. News4's Darcy Spencer reports.

Chief Jones said Roske also had a pair of padded boots with him.

"So the padded boots, we believe, he padded the boots so he would be quiet once he broke into the residence," Chief Jones said.

After the draft Supreme Court opinion on abortion was leaked, a number of demonstrations were held outside the homes of several Supreme Court justices, including the home of Justice Samuel Alito home in Fairfax County, Virginia.

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland then ordered around-the-clock security for the nine justices, three of whom live in Montgomery County, Maryland.

Chief Jones credited Roske's sister with saving lives.

"Oh, no doubt in my mind, she potentially not only saved a life; she might have saved multiple lives, understanding what kind of confrontation maybe could have occurred, right?" Chief Jones said.

After Roske was arrested, he told investigators that the draft opinion was one of the reasons he came up with his plan and traveled from California with the tools and weapons to carry it out.

On Wednesday, a federal jury indicted Roske on federal charges of attempting to murder a justice of the United States.

Roske is being held without bond. His initial court appearance has not yet been scheduled.

If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

In a release, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Maryland said federal prosecutors are seeking the forfeiture of a firearm, two magazines loaded with 10 rounds each of 9mm ammunition, 17 rounds of ammunition in a plastic bag, a black speed loader, and more items allegedly intended to be used in the crime.

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