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Stalker Who Tried To Kidnap WWE Superstar Sonya Deville Sentenced
Phillip A. Thomas II broke into Sonya Deville's home in August 2020, armed with a knife, duct tape and zip ties.
Phillip A. Thomas, 27, pleaded guilty on April 17 to multiple charges, including attempted kidnapping, aggravated stalking, and armed burglary for the August 2020 incident, according to local Tampa news outlet FOX 13.
Thomas, from South Carolina, drove to Deville's Hillsborough, Florida home on Aug. 15, 2020, armed with a knife, zip ties, duct tape, mace, and a condom, according to a release from the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. He'd left his car at nearby Idle Wild Church, then approached Deville's home, cut a hole in the patio door screen and proceeded to remain there "for approximately three to four hours, watching and listening through the windows," authorities said.
After Deville, whose real name is Daria Berenato, went to bed, Thomas entered the home through the back sliding glass door, triggering an alarm in the process. That gave Deville and her houseguest – fellow WWE Superstar Mandy Rose – enough warning to flee the home and call authorities, according to Law & Crime.
Home surveillance footage captured Deville checking the sliding glass door after her home's alarm system was triggered, running away when she caught sight of Thomas, according to FOX 13. Soon afterward, Thomas is seen striding into the household.
"I saw a man standing there," Deville said previously in court, per FOX 13. "He had black clothing on, and a black mask and he was just standing there staring at me. I looked up I saw him. I was terrified! I started screaming I don’t even know what I said what the 'f' are you doing here? What do you want?"
Authorities said Thomas remained in the home after Deville and Rose fled, believing they were just hiding upstairs. He was still there when law enforcement arrived and took him into custody.
Thomas admitted that he had been planning to kidnap Deville for the prior eight months, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office stated.
Prosecutors cited a series of progressively threatening social media messages dating back five years, establishing Thomas' dangerous obsession with Deville.
Thomas has received credit for 975 days already served and is set for release on August 12 of 2035, according to court documents reviewed by Law & Crime. In addition to his prison sentence, he will serve 15 years of probation and 50 hours of community service upon his release.
Earlier this year, Deville announced she was engaged to her girlfriend, Toni Cassano.