Lawyer: Man charged in Hanukkah attack incompetent for trial

In this Dec. 29, 2019, file photo, Ramapo police officers escort Grafton Thomas from Ramapo Town Hall to a police vehicle in Ramapo, N.Y. Attorney Michael Sussman says a psychiatrist has found Thomas incompetent to stand trial on hate crime charges stemming from a machete attack at a Hanukkah party that wounded five Hasidic Jews. Sussman said Monday, Jan. 27, 2020, that he has asked a federal judge to hold a competency evaluation for Thomas. (Source: AP Photo/Julius Constantine Motal, File)

MONSEY, N.Y. (AP) - A defense lawyer says a psychiatrist has found Grafton Thomas incompetent to stand trial on hate crime charges stemming from a machete attack at a Hanukkah party that wounded five Hasidic Jews.

Attorney Michael Sussman said Monday that he has asked a federal judge to hold a competency evaluation for Thomas.

He was arrested after an attack on Dec. 28 in Monsey, an Orthodox Jewish community north of New York City.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office has two weeks to respond to the application for a competency evaluation.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office declined to comment to the media on Monday. Thomas has pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and hate crime charges.

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