The following story was originally published in Saturday’s print edition of the Daily Post. To get all of the local news first, pick up the Post in the mornings at 1,000 Mid-Peninsula locations.
BY BRADEN CARTWRIGHT
Daily Post Staff Writer
The woman accused of randomly slitting a girl’s throat in downtown Palo Alto was previously convicted for stabbing her 8-month-old daughter in Baltimore.
Kenisha Monique Thomas, 39, pleaded guilty in May 2014 to charges of second-degree attempted murder and child abuse resulting in severe physical injury. Her sentence was not available in Maryland’s public court documents.
Thomas stabbed her daughter, Pretty Diamond, five times in her head, neck and chest during a supervised visit on April 22, 2012, at a social services center, according to charging documents published by the Baltimore Sun.
During the one-hour visit, Thomas complained to social worker Dana Hayes about her daughter’s care and said she could do a better job. When Hayes told Thomas the visit was almost over, Thomas laid her daughter on the table, said, “It is about to be over,” and she pulled out a kitchen knife and stabbed the baby, Hayes told police.
Other workers ran into the room. One grabbed the baby, who had a knife in her neck, and another threw a chair at Thomas and held her while she bit him.
“I hope my baby is dead,” one witness quoted Thomas saying, according to the Baltimore Sun.
The baby recovered after surgery in an intensive care unit at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Thomas is new to the Palo Alto area, public defender Gary Goodman said Friday (Aug. 20) in court.
Her attack on Wednesday (Aug. 18) morning appears to be completely random, police said.
A junior at Palo Alto High School was walking down University Avenue when Thomas came up behind her, pulled her hair back and slit her throat, the student told the Campanile, the school newspaper.
“If the cut was a few centimeters deeper, I would’ve died,” said the student, who is now recovering at home.
Thomas then jumped on top of the student until a man tackled her and disarmed her of a 2½-inch fixed blade knife.
Thomas, facing charges of attempted murder and false imprisonment, seemed distressed at her first court appearance yesterday in the Santa Clara County Hall of Justice.
Wearing shackles and jail clothes, she blinked her eyes in rapid succession, scrunched up her face and glanced up at the ceiling. She did not look at the judge or the public defender during the arraignment.
The deputy district attorney asked the judge to give Thomas no bail, given her charges, conduct and flight risk. Goodman, the public defender, disagreed.
Judge Thang Nguyen Barrett set her bail at $1 million.
The deputy district attorney then asked for a protective order for the victim of the stabbing. The judge double-checked that the prosecution wanted this, because it would mean the name of the victim would be public.
Goodman objected because the victim was a stranger. “Ms. Thomas has no idea who this person is,” he said.
The judge agreed to issue the order, and he set the next hearing for Sept. 28.