Skip to main content

Grafton Thomas is seen in Rockland County Court with his attorney Michael Sussman, in New City, N.Y., on Jan. 16, 2020.

MIKE SEGAR/Reuters

The man charged in an attack at a suburban New York Hanukkah celebration that left five people wounded, one critically, pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and other charges on Thursday.

Grafton Thomas appeared in Rockland County Court. On Monday, he also pleaded not guilty to federal hate crime charges. Thomas was arrested hours after five people were stabbed at an attack at a rabbi’s home in Monsey, an Orthodox Jewish community north of New York City.

His lawyer, Michael Sussman, has said Thomas suffers from mental illness and is not responsible for his actions.

Story continues below advertisement

Prosecutor Dominic Crispino said in court on Thursday that Sussman should resign from the case because he videotaped evidence being taken out of Thomas’ cabin and therefore became a witness, the Journal News reported.

Sussman said he would not be resigning. Judge Kevin Russo said he would rule on the matter when the prosecutor puts his request in writing.

Sussman also said he wants to visit Rabbi Chaim Rottenberg’s property in Monsey, where the attack occurred on Dec. 28, so he can get a sense of what Thomas was experiencing at the scene. Crispino argued against that; the judge said he would consider the request.

Sussman said he has no explanation as to why Thomas went to Rottenberg’s home and no indication that Thomas knew anyone in the congregation.

One of the victims, 72-year-old Josef Neumann, remains in a coma with a fractured skull and other injuries.

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies