The judge “acknowledged that he presided over the since-sealed prosecution of Grafton Thomas following his arrest for allegedly menacing a cop last year,” reported the New York Post.
Justice Keith Garley is refusing to explain why he had previously freed the man who would wind up allegedly stabbing five Jews, using a machete, as the victims were in the midst of celebrating Chanukah at a rabbi’s home in Monsey, New York on December 28.
The judge “acknowledged that he presided over the since-sealed prosecution of Grafton Thomas following his arrest for allegedly menacing a cop last year,” reported the New York Post on Tuesday.
“The case resulted in an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal over the summer,” according to a Rockland County prosecutor speaking at Thomas’ arraignment Sunday on five counts of attempted murder, as cited by the newspaper.
The Post says that Garley “passed the buck“ when he was asked about the earlier release..
“That decision was made by the District Attorney’s Office,” Garley told the paper. “It’s a sealed case and I can’t comment,” he added.
However, The DA’s Office declined to respond to Garley’s remarks, citing “the sealed aspect” of the case, says the Post.
Josef Neumann, a victim in the New York stabbing attack on the seventh night of Chanukah, is not expected to recover soon.
“Our father Mr. Josef Neumann was severely stabbed multiple times during the mass attack Saturday night. The knife penetrated his skull directly into the brain. He also suffered three cuts to the head, one cut to the neck, and his right arm has been shattered, ” Neumann’s children said in a statement.
Lawyers have said that Thomas suffers from mental illnesses, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression, according to reports.
“Thomas’ pastor, the Rev. Wendy Paige, has said that his mom, Kim Thomas, pleaded to have her son committed for inpatient treatment during a May 14 court hearing, but the judge refused,” reports the Post.