Sherman man on death row wants new trial

Published: Feb. 8, 2020 at 3:58 PM CST
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Attorneys for a Sherman man convicted of killing his wife and children want a new trial.

Andre Thomas, of Sherman Texas, was 21 in 2004 when he stabbed his estranged wife, their 4-year-old son, and her 13-month old daughter. He then cut all of their hearts out.

Current US Attorney Joe Brown was the Grayson County District Attorney at the time, in charge of putting away Thomas who was sentenced to death a year later in 2005.

Just before his trial, Thomas pulled out one of his own eyeballs.

"When a jury sees those kind of facts, and you have children killed the way they were, it wasn't really much question that this was a case that cried out for death penalty," said Joe Brown.

After being convicted, Thomas pulled out his second eyeball and ate it. Thomas has been sitting on death row for 15 years, and attorneys have been appealing the sentence.

The question now?

"Whether he is competent to be executed." Kerye Ashmore said.

Grayson County Assistant District Attorney Kerye Ashmore was the lead prosecutor in Thomas's original murder trial. He said there is evidence to show that Thomas was sane while he was committing the murder.

"I think there's evidence to show that he's mentally ill, but being mentally ill doesn't equivocate to being insane," said Ashmore.

Ashmore said he doesn't know how much longer the process could take.

"As of now, he is on death row, and he will be executed unless a court steps in and stops his execution," said Brown.

Defense attorneys for Thomas said that they believe the jury had been swayed by racism.

They believe some jurors determined his fate before the trial began.

District attorneys said they believe Thomas committed the killings while he was in a psychotic state, under the influence of drugs and cough syrup.

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