Attorney for Monsey stabbing suspect discusses federal hate crime charges against client

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Grafton Thomas' attorney, Michael Sussman, spoke to the media Thursday about the federal hate crime charges against the Monsey stabbing suspect.

The high-profile civil rights attorney says he's spoken to Thomas behind bars and reviewed evidence at two of his homes - one in Greenwood Lake and another in Wurstboro.

Sussman says he's seen no evidence of anti-Semitism, but rather severe mental illness, noting Thomas has a long history of paranoid schizophrenia and severe depression.

"This gentleman was labeled as a domestic terrorist by our governor. Our president spoke about it. Presidential candidates are speaking about him. People who've never met him and have no real knowledge of him are speaking about him because of an event he apparently committed. The question is why is he a domestic terrorist? Is it someone smitten with hatred of Jews or is this a person with tremendous mental derangement who never received the care he needed," says Sussman.

A grand jury hearing on whether or not to indict Thomas for the Hanukkah stabbings is being held Friday in Rockland County.

MORE: Victim in Hanukkah stabbing attack in Monsey remains in critical condition

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: Attorney for Monsey stabbing suspect requests mental health evaluation for client 




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