California man accused of trying to kill Justice Kavanaugh pleads not guilty in Md. court

A man from California, who investigators said traveled across the country to Montgomery County with a plan to kill a supreme court justice, appeared in a federal courtroom in Maryland.

In a maroon jail jumpsuit, Nicholas Roske, 26, mainly kept his head down, at times placing it on the table, as a judge read the indictment against him, raising his head to answer the judge’s questions at the U.S. District Court in Greenbelt. A grand jury indicted Roske last week.



Court documents say that just after 1 a.m. on June 8, Roske, of Simi Valley, went to Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s house to kill him. Roske, according to police, had a handgun, ammunition magazines, zip ties, as well as tactical gear, including a knife.

Roske pleaded not guilty on Wednesday.

According to court documents, Roske told investigators he was upset about a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion that aims to overturn the landmark abortion case Roe vs. Wade.

He was also upset over the shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that killed several children and two adults, and believed Kavanaugh would vote to loosen gun control laws, The Associated Press reported.

According to court documents, Roske said he intended to take his own life after killing Kavanaugh.

Once he arrived at the associate justice’s home, Roske’s sister talked him into calling police on himself, CNN reported.

Roske’s trial has been set for August, and he is facing life in prison if convicted. Roske remains in jail ahead of his trial, which has been set for Aug. 23. His public defender, Andrew Szekely, told the judge that he was satisfied his client was getting the medical care and unspecified medication that he needs while in custody, The Associated Press reported.

He faces life in prison if convicted.

WTOP’s Abigail Constantino contributed to this report. 

Mike Murillo

Mike Murillo is a reporter and anchor at WTOP. Before joining WTOP in 2013, he worked in radio in Orlando, New York City and Philadelphia.

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