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LATEST UPDATES ON SONYA DEVILLE STALKING CASE

By Mike Johnson on 2021-05-22 09:45:00

There are several updates on the criminal case against WWE star Sonya Deville's alleged stalker Phillip A. Thomas. 

On 5/14, Judge Barbara Twine Thomas issued a five page ruling that Thomas was incompetent to stand criminal trial based on the results of a court-ordered medical examination.  Due to that mental health evaluation, Thomas was “hereby committed to the Department of Children and Families to be placed in a mental health treatment facility” pursuant to local Florida statutes.

In her ruling, Thomas noted:

The Defendant is manifestly incapable of surviving alone or with the help of willing and responsible family or friends, including available alternative services, and, without treatment, the Defendant is likely to suffer from neglect or to refuse to care for himself/herself, and such neglect or refusal poses a real and present threat of substantive harm to the Defendant's well-being; or, there is a substantial likelihood that in the near future the Defendant will inflict serious bodily harm on himself/herself or another person, as evidenced by behaviors causing, attempting, or threatening such harm.

b. All available, less restrictive treatment alternatives, including treatment in community residential facilities or community inpatient or outpatient settings, which would offer an opportunity for improvement of the Defendant’s condition have been judged to be inappropriate; and

c. There is substantial probability that the mental illness causing the Defendant’s incompetence to proceed will respond to treatment and the Defendant will regain competency to proceed in the reasonably foreseeable future.

It was also ordered that Thomas not be released without “further order” from the court, so unless something changes, he will be committed for the foreseeable future.  The commitment likely means the end of the criminal case unless the court rules something has changed in his status.

Deville was provided another extension of her injunction order of protection against Thomas.  Deville had been previously granted an order of protection injunction indefinitely through the resolution of the criminal case against Thomas.  The order states Thomas "shall not commit, or cause any other person to commit, any acts of stalking against Petitioner, including stalking, cyber-stalking, aggravated stalking, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death. Respondent shall not commit any other violation of this injunction through an intentional unlawful threat, word, or act to do violence to Petitioner."

The existing, temporary order also prevents Thomas (who has remained incarcerated in Tampa) from going near Deville's home, within 100 feet of her vehicles or any places requested by Deville where she, members of her family or those closely associated with her "regularly frequent."  The current injunction prevents Thomas from using or possessing any firearm or ammunition.

There will be another hearing on 10/7 at 9 AM regarding the order of protection.

As previously reported, Thomas has been charged with Aggravated Stalking, Armed Burglary of a Dwelling, Attempted Armed Kidnapping, and Criminal Mischief.  Tampa authorities have alleged that Thomas had been planning to kidnap Deville for months and drove from South Carolina to Deville's Florida home in order to do so.  Around midnight Sunday morning 8/16/20, Thomas parked his car and found the Deville's home, cut a hole in the patio screen and remained there for hours, watching and listening through the home's windows.  He entered the home around 2:43 AM after Deville went to bed, triggering an alarm by entering through a glass sliding door.  Deville saw Thomas and fled the home with another person who was a guest on the property, calling 911.

When authorities arrived, Thomas was still in the home and was found "carrying a knife, plastic zip ties, duct tape, mace and other items and told deputies he was planning to take the homeowner hostage."  Thomas' social media featured many references to her as well as responses to Deville and others who wrote about her.   Deville testified that Thomas sent threatening messages about her, her ex-girlfriend, her mother, her father, her sisters, her niece and Mandy Rose.

Deville returned to WWE programming in January 2021 with the storyline being that she has been reinstated after losing a "Loser Leaves WWE" match to Mandy Rose at Summerslam 2020.  That match took place just days after the home invasion - that departure was to provide Deville with time off after the home invasion.  Since her return, Deville has appeared on camera playing a WWE official.

Thanks to Richard Trionfo.

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