11/15/2012 6:00:00 AM Meat cleaver attacker to get psychiatric review
A Mohave County Jail inmate entered into an unusual plea Wednesday that will place him under the care of mental health professionals instead of in prison.
Thomas Joseph Mays Jr., 20, pleaded guilty but insane to charges of aggravated assault by domestic violence for attacking his mother with a meat cleaver earlier this year at the home they shared in Lake Havasu City.
The deal essentially says that Mays is competent enough now to enter into the plea agreement but was not competent at the time of the assault in January, according to Mohave Superior Court Judge Steven Conn.
Prosecutor Jace Zack and defense attorney Sandra Carr of the Legal Defenders Office said the plea was unusual but added that both of their offices have handled similar cases at least once in the past.
Mays' plea means that his future will be put under the jurisdiction of the Psychiatric Security Review Board, which will review his case within the next 120 days. The board will then decide if Mays is competent enough to be released. If not, they can elect to hold him in a mental health facility for up to 2½ years. Mays will be transferred out of the Mohave County Jail to a mental health facility while awaiting the initial hearing.
Mays was arrested after choking his mother while holding a meat cleaver.
He reportedly suffers from multiple personality disorder and has sent dozens of communications to the judge handling the case.
"I've got to get to Europe as fast as possible," one communication read. "My money is in jeopardy there. I swear I never attacked my mother, nor was I even rude to her."