News Americas, NEW YORK, NY., Fri. Jan. 2, 2020: The case of the Guyanese roots man accused of using a machete to stab five Orthodox Jews at a rabbi’s Hanukkah party in Monsey, New York, is set to be presented to a grand jury today by The Rockland County District Attorney’s Office.
The news comes as Grafton Thomas’ Guyana-born immigrant mother, Kim Thomas, says her son is reportedly under a suicide watch at the Orange County Jail.
“I said, ‘Mommy loves you, I am going to try to do everything to help,’ and he said, ‘We thank you.’ I said, ‘Who’s we?,’” she told the New York Post.
Thomas is being held in the Westchester County jail on US 5 million bail and faces state charges of attempted murder and federal charges of obstructing the free exercise of religion in an attempt to kill. He initially had been in the Rockland County Jail, but federal authorities moved him to Valhalla after adding their hate-crime offenses against him.
Thomas, 37, was born in the Jewish neighborhood in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, NY. His lawyer Michael Sussman, says Thomas has a long-standing history of mental illness, including diagnoses of paranoid schizophrenia with warning signs that have been ignored by authorities for years.
Sussman claims Thomas was the victim of child sexual abuse and was placed on Social Security disability for a number of years because of his mental state.
“How many more like him are there, and what are we going to do about it?” Sussman said Thursday at a press conference. “We have to look ourselves in the mirror.”
He also claims Thomas allegedly taking Latuda, an antipsychotic medication, in October in 2019.
Sussman said Rockland prosecutors hadn’t formally responded to his request that Thomas undergo a 30-day psychiatric evaluation in a hospital.