A mentally troubled Kenmore man who stabbed his elderly father in the chest pleaded guilty by reason of insanity Friday, and a judge ordered mental testing to determine if he remains a danger to himself and others.
Jailed the past 15 months, John J. Thill accepted a prosecution pre-indictment plea deal to a felony assault charge for the late-night stabbing of his father, Joseph, now 71, in the family's home Nov. 3. 1998.
After he pleaded not responsible by reason of mental disease or defect, State Supreme Court Justice Russell P. Buscaglia ordered Thill, 36, to remain in custody, pending further court proceedings March 1.
After Thills undergoes a battery of mental health examinations to determine whether he has to be sent to a state mental health facility for possibly indefinite treatment the judge may have to schedule court hearings, court officials said.
As Thill's parents watched in the Buffalo courtroom his attorney Mark J. Mahoney told the judge that in late 1997 Thill stopped taking medication, which had controlled his schizophrenic personality disorder.
By late 1997, "he wasn't keeping up with his medication" and foolishly started self-medicating with marijuana and alcohol, Thill's attorney told the judge.
That resulted in the Air Force veteran suffering a growing sense of inadequacy and insecurity and delusional thoughts about his father, which prompted him to stab him with a pocket knife,Mahoney and prosecutor Peter Allen Weinmann told the judge.
They said Thill's parents both supported the mental illness plea, and the prosecutor said that after extensive work on the case Erie County District Attorney Frank J. Clark felt such a non-criminal plea was "in the best interests of the public and the effective administration of justice."