4-5-04 - A man accused of murdering his estranged wife and her two children in a Sherman apartment complex gouged out his right eye inside a jail cell Friday night, moments after reading a Bible verse. Andre Thomas was under a 24 hour suicide watch in the Grayson County jail at the time.
Jailers say Thomas turned his back to them at the time. Moments later, he screamed, and when he turned around he was holding his right eye in his hand. Emergency room workers at Wilson N Jones Medical Center were unable to reattach his eye.
On Monday, Sheriff Keith Gary said Thomas had apparently read Matthew 5:29 just before he injured himself. In the King James version, that verse reads “if your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you, for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell."
Thomas is accused in the murders of Laura Thomas, their 4 year old son Andre, and her one year old daughter Leyha. All three were stabbed to death and their bodies were mutilated, including vital organs removed from their bodies. Thomas later surrendered to police and confessed to killing his wife and “ripping her heart out”.
On Monday, a judge granted the defense request for a mental evaluation. A preliminary report will be available in the next couple of days. His defense attorney believes Thomas has been suffering mental problems, and the self-mutilation proves that. The defense team will likely seek an insanity plea.