Andre Thomas, 25, was arrested for the fatal stabbings of his estranged wife, their young son and her 13-month-old daughter in March 2004.
After forcing his way into their third floor apartment, Thomas viciously murdered his estranged wife, Laura Christine Boren, 20, 13-month-old Leyha Marie Hughes, and the couple’s son, 4-year-old Andre Lee on March 24, 2004. All three victims were brutally stabbed, and their hearts had been ripped out. Court documents described the three victims as having “large, gaping wounds to their chests.”
Evidence later uncovered by Investigators indicated Mr. Thomas removed their hearts manually, and put them in the pocket of the shirt he was wearing during the incident. He later placed them in a bag and discarded them in the trash.
A Texoma Resident, Andre proceeded to enter the Sherman Police Department, confesses to the murders and then stabs himself in the chest.
Following a failed attempt at securing an insanity defense, although Thomas’ older brother Donald Ross testified about his brother’s strange behavior leading up to the murders. Behavior that included drug use, an obsession with the bible, and duct-taping his mouth shut, claiming God was testing him to see if he could go a day without talking
Apparently under some hypnotic, Cyclops species get off of murder charges trance, Thomas plucks out his left eye while awaiting trial for the murders, to which, he pled Not Guilty. Thomas was being held at the time under suicide watch in a see thru cell, but it is unknown the field of vision observed by the guards assigned to Thomas.
The presiding judge was not swayed by the eye patch defense.
Peterson-Cite and R.J. Haloed argued that Thomas’ mental illness was the mitigating element that caused him to kill and mutilate his three victims. Thomas was sent to a state mental hospital after he pulled out his eye at the Grayson County Jail and ruled to be insane. He was medicated and returned to Grayson County. Prosecutors, who did not seem to have a skewed perspective, did not seek an indictment against the infant murder initially, for just this occasion. After a Grand Jury returned a third indictment, Judge James Fry then judged Thomas competent to stand trial, his zero/20 vision notwithstanding.
Once his conviction was upheld, on December 9, 2008, a death-row officer at the Polunsky Unit of Thomas’s cell observed him with blood on his face and took him to the infirmary.
Sans the nice Chianti and fava beans, Thomas ingested his “good eye”.
“He will finally be able to receive the mental health care that we had wanted and begged for from day 1,” Bobbie Peterson-Cate, Thomas’ trial attorney, told the Sherman Herald Democrat. “He is insane and mentally ill. It is exactly the same reason he pulled out the last one.” Link2Thomas is now being held at the prison’s psychiatric Unit. There is no scheduled date for his execution.
Researching this piece, I was struck by two things: 1) These victims were failed by the system in some way. This guy is not a Stevie Wonder wanna be, he is a very sick boy with a long history of mental illness with every indication he would act out. Why was there no Protection from Abuse Order? Was this boy on medication and subsequently stopped taking it? People do not just wake up and become homicidal psychos. 2) Almost every person upon reading this case interjects a well intentioned jab at levity; it is simply that grotesque it belies believability.
It happened, what went wrong, and what changes need to made to protect those in similar situations?
posted by Blink34