Attorney for Monsey stabbing suspect requests mental health evaluation for clientPosted: Updated:
A new federal complaint was unveiled against Grafton Thomas, the Monsey Hanukkah stabbing suspect, as Thomas’ mother joined her son's attorney Monday afternoon for a news conference in Goshen following his indictment.
Grafton Thomas' mother Kim sat silently but visibly upset as her son's attorney, high-profile civil rights attorney Michael Sussman, and their family pastor described a long history of alleged mental illness.
Sussman says the 37 year-old from Greenwood Lake has been hospitalized for mental illness. He noted the Monsey stabbing suspect, a former Marine who is now charged with federal hate crimes, was prescribed multiple medications for serious depression. Sussman says he's requested a 30-day mental health evaluation after speaking to Grafton behind bars, who he claims appears to be suffering from hallucinations and is allegedly hearing voices.
"I spent about 35 minutes speaking with Grafton Thomas this morning and while obviously I can't disclose the detail of that conversation, I can tell you that I heard nothing in that conversation that confirms in any way, shape or matter that he is a domestic terrorist,” said Sussman.
Federal prosecutors say handwritten journals recovered from Grafton Thomas' home in Greenwood Lake had anti-Semitic references to Jews and remarks about Hitler.
MORE: Off-duty and retired law enforcement to increase security for Jewish community
MORE: Cuomo says he'll propose domestic terror law to combat 'poison' of hate
MORE: Monsey stabbing suspect pleads not guilty, held on $5 million bail
MORE: 'Shocked': Neighbors in Greenwood Lake stunned by suspect's arrest in Monsey stabbings
MORE: Hate at Home: A Turn To Tara Special Report
MORE: Officials: Hanukkah attack suspect researched Hitler online
MORE: Monsey residents celebrate final night of Hanukkah after attack
Longtime family pastor Wendy Paige spoke for Grafton Thomas' mother, who was there but too upset to speak.
"Grafton has experienced a long history of mental health and that should be the focus. Not terrorism. Mental health,” she said.
Authorities are also investigating whether Thomas is responsible for last month's stabbing in Monsey that injured a man while he walked to synagogue.
Thomas was arraigned in federal court in White Plains and is being held without bail.
He is due back in court Jan. 13.