August 21, 2020
By: Staff Report
TAMPA, Fla. – Phillip Thomas, the South Carolina man who is accused of traveling to Lutz in a plot to kidnap WWE star Sonja Deville, will remain behind bars without bail.
Phillip Thomas appeared at a hearing on Thursday before Judge Catherine Catlin, ruled Thomas be held without bond until his case is ‘resolved or a trial takes place’.
“I don’t see how I can protect the community. A GPS monitor gives me no peace of mind,” Judge Catlin said.
“This man poses an ongoing danger to the victim and to public safety as a whole,” Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren said in a press release. “There’s a high bar when we ask for someone to be held without bond. But the facts of this case send a shiver down your spine – and it’s clear this man needs to stay behind bars until he can face justice.”
Instagram messages sent from Philips to Deville and evidence presented to Judge Catlin, were disturbing and detailed. Investigators testified that the stalking had been an ongoing issue from Thomas to Deville and also directed at people that were close to her.
On Sunday, August 16, 2020, at 2:43 a.m., Thomas, entered the residence of Sonya Deville in the Promenade at Lake Park subdivision in Lutz, located along Pine Hammock Boulevard.
Detectives learned Thomas parked his car at Idle Wild Church earlier that night, walked to the residence, cut a hole in the patio screen, and remained there for approximately three to four hours, watching and listening through the windows.
After the Deville went to bed, Thomas entered through the back sliding glass door, which activated the home alarm, and prompted the Deville to look out the window and spot the suspect on the property. Deville and her guest fled the home in a car and called 911. When deputies arrived, Thomas was still inside the residence. Deputies discovered he was carrying a knife, plastic zip ties, duct tape, mace, and other personal items.
Thomas has been charged with aggravated stalking, armed burglary, attempted kidnapping, and criminal mischief.
Publishers Note: While The Free Press will always be free for our readers, and ad-supported, we are asking our loyal readers to consider a monthly donation of $3 to maintain our local journalism and help us grow, as we ramp up ad sales locally.
We thank you all for your consideration and supporting local journalism.