Thomas exhibited bizarre behavior before and after the murders, including blinding himself by removing his eyes and eating one. This has led to questions regarding his mental state and the legalities of him being sentenced to die.
According to court transcripts:
Andre Thomas' behavior in the months before the killings became increasingly bizarre. He put duct tape over his mouth and refused to speak; he talked about how the dollar bill contains the meaning of life; he stated that he was experiencing deja vu and reliving events time and again; he had a religious fixation and heard the voice of God. In the weeks before the murders, Thomas was heard by others talking about his auditory and visual hallucinations of God and demons.
About 20 days before the killings, he took Coricidin and then tried to commit suicide by overdosing on other medications. He was taken to the local MHMR facility, but then walked away before he could be treated.
Two days before the killings, he drank vodka and took about ten Coricidin tablets and then stabbed himself. His mother took him to the local hospital. But again, Thomas left the hospital before he could be committed for observation or psychiatric treatment. On two occasions in the days before the killings, Thomas was seen by friends to be highly intoxicated; they described him as vomiting, delirious, incapacitated, and lying on the floor.
At around 7:00 p.m. on March 26, just one day after stabbing himself, Thomas went to his estranged wife's apartment where she and her boyfriend, Bryant Hughes, were listening to religious audiotapes. According to Thomas's statement to police, he had come to believe that God wanted him to kill his wife, Laura, because she was "Jezebel," to kill his four-year-old son, Andre, Jr., because he was the "Anti-Christ," and to kill his wife's daughter, 13-month old Leyha, because she, too, was evil.
That evening, Thomas saw Bryant twisting an extension cord as they listened to the religious tapes, and he thought that Bryant also wanted to strangle Laura and the children. Thomas wanted to make "the first move," so he walked into Laura's kitchen to find a knife, but then decided that it was not the right time. Bryant drove Thomas home around 10:00 p.m.
Thomas reported that the next morning he woke up and heard a voice that he thought was God telling him that he needed to stab and kill his wife and the children using three different knives so as not to "cross contaminate" their blood and "allow the demons inside them to live." He walked over to Laura's apartment. He saw Bryant drive by and wave, so Thomas believed that this was a signal that he was doing "the right thing" by killing his wife and the children.
He burst into the apartment, then stabbed and killed Laura and the two children. He used a different knife on each one of the victims, and then he carved out the children's hearts and stuffed them into his pockets. He mistakenly cut out part of Laura's lung, instead of her heart, and put that into his pocket. He then stabbed himself in the heart which, he thought, would assure the death of the demons that had inhabited his wife and the children. But he did not die, so he walked home, changed his clothes, and put the hearts into a paper bag and threw them in the trash. He walked to his father's house with the intention of calling Laura, whom he had just killed. He called Laura's parents instead and left a message on their answering machine:
"Um, Sherry, this is Andre. I need y'alls help, something bad is happening to me and it keeps happening and I don't know what's going on. I need some help, I think I'm in hell. I need help. Somebody needs to come and help me. I need help bad. I'm desperate. I'm afraid to go to sleep. So when you get this message, come by the house, please. Hello?"
Thomas then walked back to his trailer where his girlfriend, Carmen Hayes, and his cousin, Isaiah Gibbs, were waiting for him. He told them that he had just killed his wife and the two children. Ms. Hayes took him to the Sherman Police Department and he told the police what he had done. After he was hospitalized for his chest wound, he was taken to jail, and he gave a videotaped statement to the police. In that videotaped statement, Thomas gives a very calm, complete, and coherent account of his activities and his reasons for them.
Five days after the killings, Thomas was in his cell with his Bible. After reading a Bible verse to the effect that, "If the right eye offends thee, pluck it out," Thomas gouged out his right eye. Thomas was examined for competency to stand trial by two psychologists and was evaluated by a treating psychologist in jail, all of whom agreed that Thomas was not then competent to stand trial. All three provided a diagnosis or opinion of "Schizophreniform Disorder with a Rule out of Substance Induced Psychotic Disorder due to [Thomas'] recent history of abusing Coricidin."
Thomas was convicted of murder on November 3, 2005 and sentenced him to death.While incarcerated on death row he again attempted suicide, this time by cutting his throat. On December 9, 2008, Thomas removed his left eye, rendering himself completely blind. After removing his second eye, he ate it. He claimed that it was necessary to eat his eye in order to prevent the U.S. Federal Government from reading his thoughts.