From the Saborit file

There doesn’t seem to be much local media interest in the murder of America Thayer on the streets of Shakopee, Minnesota last week. Last week Thayer was beheaded in broad daylight by her boyfriend, Alexis Saborit.

Media interest outside Minnesota continues. Most recently, the New York Post reported “Beheaded Minnesota woman begged court to lift no-contact order for her alleged killer” (New York Post, July 31) and “Alex Saborit ‘dangerous & controlling’ & ‘wouldn’t let America Thayer use toilet alone’ before beheading, says pals [sic]” (U.S. Sun, August 1, based on local media reports). I want to stay on the case as long as we can learn something from it.

At the time he murdered America, Saborit was on his way to court for a hearing in a 2020 felony arson case. Yesterday I went to court to review the court file in the arson case on a public access terminal.

Saborit had set his apartment on fire with gasoline and put up an enraged standoff with police in November 2020. In the course of the standoff he wielded the machete that (I assume) he used to behead America last week. Anyone who reviews the file will see he was a maniacal nutjob who represented a serious threat to the life and property of others.

His attorney put Saborit’s competence to stand trial in issue. Saborit was released on an order that required a bond and set several conditions including no return to his apartment and no use of alcohol or drugs. In February Saborit’s attorney put the prosecutor on notice of a defense of mental illness in addition to a general defense.

On March 30 this year the conditional release order was revoked and an arrest warrant issued because Saborit had violated the no alcohol provision of the release order. The revocation order specifically found that Saborit was a danger to the life and property of others. The arrest warrant was executed the following day.

On April 1, however, Saborit was released on another conditional release order, this one by Senior Judge Richard Perkins. The April 1 conditional release replicated the original order with an increased bond.

On May 10 Saborit was evaluated by a court-appointed psychologist. A remote hearing was held on May 11 before Judge Martin Fallon. The report is not accessible in the court file I reviewed and there are no related judicial findings I could find.

I remain mystified why Judge Perkins set Saborit free after his arrest for violating the terms of his conditional release. Nothing I could see in the court file explains it. In retrospect, the $50,000 increase in Saborit’s bond to address the violation of the terms of his release looks like a bad joke. Some explanation is called for and yet I would guess that none will be forthcoming.

UPDATE: On the issue of bail and pretrial detention, please see the adjacent post.