By Joshua Waddles
13 May 2021
A South Carolina man arrested in 2020 for breaking into the home of WWE superstar Sonya Deville has been declared not mentally capable to stand trial.
Phillip A. Thomas II is accused of stalking Deville on social media for years. After his arrest, journalists located a Twitter account under Thomas II’s name which had sent hundreds of messages to the wrestler, making threats against herself and her family, describing sex acts, and allegedly at least one picture of his penis.
According to a petition with the court, Deville was largely unaware of these messages, as they were filtered into a “message requests” folder along with thousands of other messages she’d received from fans. It was only after the investigation that authorities uncovered the messages, which go as far back as 2019.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office in Florida said Thomas spent at least eight months plotting to abduct Deville prior to his arrest. According to a petition Deville filed, Thomas cut a hole in the patio door at the home Deville owns and waited four hours before breaking in. The alarm woke Deville. She thought he was a random burglar before she noticed he was holding pepper spray and a knife.
“This was when I realized this person was not here to rob me, he was there to hurt me,” Deville wrote.
Deville ran, losing Thomas. Security footage shows the suspect running up the stairs, apparently believing Deville had fled in that direction. Instead, she and Mandy Rose (who’d been staying the night) were able to escape out of the front door, fleeing in a vehicle.
According to investigators, Thomas admitted to them he intended to pepper spray Deville and keep her hostage in her own home for a week. Investigators charged him with Aggravated Stalking, Armed Burglary of a Dwelling, Armed Kidnapping Ransom or Reward or Hostage and Criminal Mischief. Three of the charges are felonies and two are punishable by life in prison.
After an evaluation by medical experts, however, courts declared that Thomas was not mentally competent to stand trial. Thomas will be committed to the Florida State Hospital.