Andre Boren, 4, lay on his back in his white children’s bed just above Leyha. He looked as if he could have been sleeping — a moment away from revealing the toothy grin that typically spread from one of his round cheeks to the other — except for the massive chest wound that matched the ones his father, Andre Thomas (the boy was also known as Andre Jr.), had inflicted on his mother and his half-sister as he tried to remove their hearts.
“You just can’t believe that it’s real,” said Sherry Boren, Laura Boren’s mother. “You’re hoping that it’s not, that it’s a dream or something, that you’re going to wake up at any minute.”
Mr. Thomas, who confessed to the murders of his wife, their son and her daughter by another man, was convicted in 2005 and sentenced to death at age 21. While awaiting trial in 2004, he gouged out one of his eyes, and in 2008 on death row, he removed the other and ate it.
At least twice in the three weeks before the crime, Mr. Thomas had sought mental health treatment, babbling illogically and threatening to commit suicide. On two occasions, staff members at the medical facilities were so worried that his psychosis made him a threat to himself or others that they sought emergency detention warrants for him.
Hospitals do not have legal authority to detain people who voluntarily enter their facilities in search of mental health care but then decide to leave. It is one of many holes in the state’s [Texas] nearly 30-year-old mental health code that advocates, police officers and judges say lawmakers need to fix.
According to the story, there were biblical delusions involved in the murders. Though the article doesn't say, it occurred to me that in gouging out his own eyes while in custody, Thomas may have been acting on a biblical command. Don't know, but that's a possibility.
Adding to the litany of horrors in this case, the Times piece mentions in passing that Thomas, who was 21 years old at the time of the murders, was sentenced to death.
This young man was severely, mentally ill--stark-raving mad--when he committed these crimes. And now, with his eyes gouged out, the moral primitives in the Texas justice system plan to murder him.