The Dextroverse

DXM-related News Dextromethorphan-related news. This particular section is publicly viewable. Feel free to post comments.

Thread Tools
Posts: n/a
Default 02-23-2005, 08:12 AM

Doctors give opinions on Thomas' mental health
By Jerrie Whiteley
Herald Democrat

Jurors in Andre Thomas' capital murder trial heard from two doctors Monday before hearing from Thomas himself.

One of the doctors, an emergency room physician from Texoma Medical Center, said Thomas was clearly "psychotic" on the day before he killed his estranged wife Laura Boren Thomas, their son, Andre Boren, and her daughter Leyha Marie Hughes in March of last year.

The second doctor, an expert witness from the state, said Thomas might have been psychotic, but it was a drug-induced state which would not have prevented the 20-year-old from knowing what he was doing was wrong.

Then, the jury heard Andre Thomas, via a videotaped statement, give his reasoning behind the killings.

Nobody involved in the trial denies that Thomas killed the family. The battle going on in the East Courtroom of the Grayson County Courthouse is over Thomas' mental state at the time of the killings.

Defense attorneys Bobbie Peterson and R.J. Hagood say Thomas was insane on the morning he kicked in the door to Mrs. Thomas' apartment and killed her and the children. They say Thomas thought she was Jezebel and his little boy was the anti-christ. Little Leyha, Thomas is said to have thought, was a demon.

Prosecutors say Thomas might have been suffering some delusions on the day he killed the young mother and her children, but those delusions didn't keep him from knowing right from wrong. Under Texas law, the key issue in the insanity defense is knowledge of right and wrong at the time of the offense.

Monday seemed to be starting off well for the defense when TMC emergency room doctor, William Bowen, took the stand and said he thought Thomas was clearly psychotic and would "benefit from hospitalization" just 24 hours before the deaths.

Bowen said he was dealing with paperwork to get Thomas admitted to a hospital when Thomas walked out of the emergency room without alerting anyone.

Thomas had gone to the hospital after stabbing himself in the chest the night before. Bowen called the wound "superficial" but said Thomas' stated intent "to cross over to heaven" was grounds to have him admitted for counseling.

Grayson County District Attorney Joe Brown asked Bowen if the state in which Thomas presented in the emergency room might have been caused by drug use. Thomas told the doctor about using marijuana and alcohol in the days leading up to the incident. Bowen said he didn't think, at the time, that those drugs would cause psychosis, but he has since read things that lead him to believe that kind of drug abuse could cause such a state.

State law says that intentional intoxication is not a defense to a crime. So, Brown went back over that point a couple of times for the jury. He seemed to want them to be clear that the doctor didn't know, at the time that he filled out the papers to get Thomas admitted, that Thomas had been abusing drugs on a greater frequency than he admitted.

Under questioning from Hagood, Bowen said the manner in which Thomas got in the condition he was in when he came to the emergency room wasn't important.

He said he leaves the "why" of such situations to the doctors trained to deal with those issues.

Kathy Gray, an employee of Mental Health and Mental Retardation of Grayson County, said that Thomas had been scheduled to enter a hospital earlier in the month also. She said he came to MHMR and complained of depression and suicidal thoughts.

She said records showed that he told a mental health professional that he would "throw himself in front of a bus" if he couldn't get seen by someone that day. The health care worker arranged for him to get to a local emergency room so he could be admitted to the hospital, but Thomas never showed up at the hospital.

Dr. Victor Scarano was next to take the stand. Under questions from First Assistant Grayson County District Attorney Kerye Ashmore, Scarano said Thomas suffered from a drug-induced state of psychosis that would have left him able to tell right from wrong. Then, to prove that point, Ashmore had the doctor go over the items that led him to that conclusion.

Scarano, who was a pediatric heart surgeon before deciding to go to law school and take up forensic psychology, said that Thomas' actions leading up to the killings, and after, show that he thought what he did was wrong.

For instance, Scarano said, Thomas went early in the morning when he thought Mrs. Thomas' live-in boyfriend, Bryant Hughes, would be gone. He also tried not to draw attention to himself as he made his way to the apartment. Once there, he worried about neighbors hearing him kick in the door.

Others have testified that Thomas said he left the apartment when he heard an alarm going off and quickened his retreat from the area when he heard sirens. Thomas, the other testified, said he thought those sirens were police heading to the crime scene. He thought they would be after him. When he got to his trailer, Thomas told friends the police would be there soon.

Scarano then pointed to testimony which revealed that Thomas changed clothes before going to his father's house to make a phone call. An apparent attempt, Scarano said, to cover up his guilt.

"So at the time that he thrust his knife into the chest of Leyha, did he know what he was doing was wrong?" Ashmore asked the expert.

"Yes," Scarano said.

"Therefore he was not insane?" "No," Scarano confirmed.

When testifying about the reams of papers he had reviewed for the case, Scarano said he found a doctor's note in the Grayson County Jail records in which Thomas was said to have told a local doctor that he stabbed Mrs. Thomas and then thought to himself "what the #*^#@ am I doing," before "running" into the children's room and attacking them.

That realization that he was doing something that he should not, Scarano said, proved that Thomas could have stopped himself.

Scarano said the drugs that probably caused Thomas to suffer from "delusions of grandiosity with religious overtones" came from Thomas mixing alcohol with marijuana and Coricidin. The doctor said Thomas was probably still suffering from that psychosis when he pulled out his own eyeball on April 2. In fact, Scarano said, he might always suffer from it.

He said sometimes such drug-induced problems go away when the drugs wear off and sometimes they don't.

"But a person can suffer from a psychosis and still know right from wrong?" Ashmore questioned.

"Yes," Scarano said.

While the two discussed his mental health at great length, Andre Thomas sat with his fingers laced together and curled under his head.

His attorney attempted to find some middle ground for the possibility that the drugs might have taken away Thomas' ability to know right from wrong, but didn't get very far.

The next couple of witnesses set up the video prosecutors ended their day by showing to the jury. In the video, Thomas talks to Sherman Police Detective Mike Ditto, who has since retired from SPD, about the killing.

As the two start to converse, Thomas repeatedly says he doesn't know what is going on and wants someone to tell him what is going on. Ditto asked if Thomas knew why he was in jail and Thomas said, "because I killed my wife, my son and her um, daughter.

"Okay, do you want to tell me why you did that?" Ditto asked.

"Uh, because I thought it was the word of God. Because I thought that God wanted me to do it."

After a number of attempts to expand on that topic, Thomas said, I don't want to talk about. I'm not proud of what I did."

"Why not?" Ditto asked.

"Cause. I didn't want to do that regardless. I didn't want to do it. I didn't want to hurt nobody," Thomas answered.

"Okay, well if you didn't want to hurt somebody, anybody, then why did you go ahead and do that?" Ditto asked.

"Because I thought God wanted me to do it," Thomas said.

At a later point in the conversation, when Ditto attempted to go back to the subject of how the killings took place, Thomas said he was finished talking about it.

"Does it hurt to talk about it?" Ditto asked.

"Yeah." Thomas said.

"Does it hurt because it's wrong?" Ditto asked. "You knew it at the time, didn't you? You didn't want to do that did you?" "No, actually, I didn't. I didn't, uh. It wasn't on my mind whether it was right or wrong. I don't like to talk about it because I cared about Laura. That was my friend. She's my friend. I didn't want to hurt her."

The interview continued for a while longer and then Thomas told Ditto that he didn't want to talk anymore.

It was a little after 4:30 p.m. when Ashmore told Judge James Fry that the questions the prosecution had for Ditto would continue for quite a while. Fry said the ending of the video was a good place to stop for the day and sent the jury home.

The trial resumes at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

Read the Herald Democrat's online edition, at, for updates during the day Tuesday.

Reply With Quote
libel Offline
Moderated Poster
Posts: 5,292
My Mood: Brooding
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: albuquerque
Default 02-23-2005, 08:36 AM

reefer madness allover again.
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2010, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
vBulletin Skin developed by:

"Wiki" powered by VaultWiki v2.5.0.
Copyright © 2008 - 2010, Cracked Egg Studios.