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SONYA DEVILLE STALKER TRANSFERRED OUT OF POLICE CUSTODY AFTER BEING DEEMED INCOMPETENT TO STAND TRIAL

By Mike Johnson on 2021-06-22 14:48:00

Phillip Thomas, who was committed to Florida's Department of Children Families on 5/14 after Judge Barbara Twine Thomas ruled that he was incompetent to stand criminal trial based on the results of a court-ordered medical examination was transferred out of the custody of Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office is now in the custody of a mental health facility.  The transfer took place earlier today.

Back in August 2020, Thomas was arrested and charged with Aggravated Stalking, Armed Burglary of a Dwelling, Attempted Armed Kidnapping, and Criminal Mischief.  Tampa authorities 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 WWE performer Mandy Rose, who was staying at her home, 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.

In the May ruling, Judge 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 ordered at that time that Thomas not to be released without “further order” from the court, so unless something changes, he will be remain committed for the foreseeable future.  The commitment likely means the end of the criminal case unless the court rules something has changed in his mental competency.

There is slated to be an October hearing regarding Deville's 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.

 

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