The suspect in the Hanukkah stabbings that injured five people on Saturday was indicted Friday on several counts, including attempted murder, his lawyer said. Grafton Thomas, 37, was charged Friday with six counts of attempted murder, three counts of assault, three counts of attempted assault, and two counts of burglary after allegedly stabbing five people attending a Hanukkah celebration. Federal prosecutors have also charged him with obstruction of free exercise of religious beliefs involving an attempt to kill, which is a federal hate crime. “The defendant has been charged with a violent and heinous crime. This was an extremely brutal attack,” Rockland County District Attorney Thomas Walsh said in a Friday statement.
Thomas’ attorney, Michael Sussman, told reporters Thursday his client had stopped taking medications for his mental illnesses in October. In a federal complaint filed Monday, authorities said Thomas had hand-written journals containing references to Nazism, Hitler, and the Black Hebrew Israelites. Inside his house, investigators also found other anti-Semitic messages and an 18-inch machete. Authorities are still trying to determine if the attack was connected to another attack on Nov. 20, when a man was stabbed multiple times on his way to a synagogue.