Man mentally fit in case; May trial set

WAILUKU – After undergoing treatment at the Hawaii State Hospital for more than a year, a homeless man has been found mentally fit to proceed in an attempted murder case.

A May 5 trial is set for Thomas Abraham, 39. He has pleaded not guilty to charges of second-degree attempted murder, second-degree assault and third-degree assault in an attack on a 42-year-old man Oct. 12, 2012, in a Queen Ka’ahumanu Center restroom.

At about 4:30 that afternoon, police said, the man was stabbed with scissors and choked until he began to lose consciousness in the second-floor bathroom near the food court at the shopping center. A mall security officer intervened to stop Abraham as he was choking the other man, police said.

According to court records, a lawyer for Abraham asked that he be evaluated for mental fitness in November 2012, and he was ordered to be transferred to the state hospital on Oahu in January 2013.

In May, he was found mentally unfit to proceed based on examinations by three court-appointed psychiatrists or psychologists. After the court granted a state request to involuntarily medicate Abraham, another round of mental examinations was ordered in November.

Last week, 2nd Circuit Judge Richard Bissen ruled Abraham was fit to proceed, said Deputy Public Defender William “Pili” McGrath.

Abraham’s trial date was set when he appeared in court Wednesday.

He is being held in lieu of $511,000 bail at the Maui Community Correctional Center.