Accused Hanukkah Killer Found Incompetent For Trial

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The man accused of stabbing five people during a Hanukkah celebration at a rabbi’s home near New York City in December has been found incompetent to stand trial, NBC News reports. Grafton Thomas, 37, “is presently suffering from a mental disease or defect rendering him mentally incompetent to the extent that he is unable to assist properly in his defense,” according to federal court documents. A judge ordered that Thomas be hospitalized to see if he can be treated and restored to competency. Thomas is charged with both federal hate crime charges and state counts in the deadly attack.

Thomas is accused of barging into the rabbi’s home in Monsey, N.Y., as a group was observing the seventh night of Hanukkah, armed with a machete and attacking people. Josef Neumann, 72, died in March from injuries he suffered in the Dec. 28 attack. Rockland County District Attorney Thomas Walsh had said his office would seek an indictment for second-degree murder. Investigators found handwritten journals in Thomas’ home that contained anti-Semitic writings, including writings about “Nazi culture” and Adolf Hitler and a drawing of a swastika, a federal complaint said. Michael Sussman, Thomas’ attorney, said his client was hospitalized several times last year and was on a variety of medications.

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