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Calif. man indicted for attempting to assassinate Brett Kavanaugh after arrest near his home

Win McNamee/Getty Images, FILE

(WASHINGTON) — The California man arrested last week near Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s home has been indicted on a charge of attempted assassination.

The federal grand jury on Wednesday formally accused 26-year-old Nicholas Roske, of Simi Valley, of attempting to kill Kavanaugh.

According to the indictment, prosecutors will also seek to have Roske forfeit various property if convicted, including the firearms and other equipment that authorities said he carried on him at the time of his arrest on June 8.

Roske was previously charged, via criminal complaint, with attempted murder for allegedly making threats against Kavanaugh and showing up armed to Kavanaugh’s Maryland home.

He was angry over the recent mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, and the leaked draft of a Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, according to an affidavit from an FBI agent submitted last week in support of the criminal complaint.

Roske arrived to Kavanaugh’s home early on June 8 wearing black clothes and carrying a backpack, according to the affidavit. A Glock 17 pistol, two magazines, pepper spray, zip ties, a hammer, screwdriver, nail punch, crowbar, pistol light and duct tape were inside his bag, according to the affidavit.

He was arrested “without incident” after allegedly calling authorities to tell them he was suicidal and wanted to kill Kavanaugh, police have said.

According to the affidavit against him, “Roske stated that he’d been thinking about how to give his life a purpose and decided he would kill the Supreme Court Justice after finding the Justice’s Montgomery County address on the internet.”

During an appearance in U.S. District Court later on June 8, Roske told Judge Timothy Sullivan that he thought he had a “reasonable understanding” of the attempted murder charge, though he told the court he wasn’t thinking clearly and was on doctor-prescribed medication.

When asked if he could continue, he said, “I have a clear enough understanding” of the court proceedings.

Roske agreed to remain in custody until a preliminary hearing that was scheduled for June 22. However, he will likely face a formal arraignment now that prosecutors have secured a new indictment.

He remains in custody in Maryland. An attorney for him did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Separately, Congress on Tuesday approved a bill increasing security for Supreme Court justices’ families amid new threats to the high court — which has also seen renewed protests by advocates ahead of major opinions on polarizing issues including gun rights and abortion access.

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