8-13-04 Andre Thomas, the Sherman man accused in the stabbing deaths of his estranged wife and her two children, plead not guilty by reason of insanity in a Sherman courtroom Friday. Thomas appeared in judge James Fry's courtroom wearing the eye patch he has worn since gouging his own eye out, an orange jump suit, and handcuffs. He's been heavily medicated since he was sent to Vernon State Mental Hospital seven weeks ago after being found incompetent to stand trial. Now, attorneys will have a few months to prepare their arguments.
The defense will claim that Thomas was psychotic at the time he murdered 20 year old, Laura Thomas, 4 year old Andre Boren, and 13 month old, Leyha Hughes. The prosecution says that their evidence will show other wise.
Jury selection will begin as early as October 18th, and could take over a month to complete. Lawyers will probe jurors for any emotional biases they have toward the case, and hope to have the jury selected by thanksgiving. If all goes as planned, the earliest the trial will begin is December.