Scene of Monsey machete attack
Scene of Monsey machete attack Reuters

The lawyer for Monsey stabbing suspect Grafton Thomas said on Monday he has requested a mental evaluation for his client, News 12 Hudson Valley reported.

Speaking at a news conference following his indictment, the attorney, Michael Sussman, described a long history of alleged mental illness.

Sussman says the 37-year-old from Greenwood Lake has been hospitalized for mental illness. He noted Thomas was prescribed multiple medications for serious depression.

The attorney added he had requested a 30-day mental health evaluation after speaking to Grafton behind bars, who he claimed appears to be suffering from hallucinations and is allegedly hearing voices.

"I spent about 35 minutes speaking with Grafton Thomas this morning and while obviously I can't disclose the detail of that conversation, I can tell you that I heard nothing in that conversation that confirms in any way, shape or matter that he is a domestic terrorist,” said Sussman, according to News 12 Hudson Valley.

Earlier on Monday, Thomas was charged with five hate crimes, including "obstructing the free exercise of religious beliefs by attempting to kill with a dangerous weapon and causing injuries."

According to the indictment, after entering the synagogue in Monsey during Saturday night’s Hanukkah celebration, Thomas declared "no one is leaving" and began to stab people.

Five people were wounded in the attack. One remains in critical condition.

US authorities have reportedly uncovered evidence that Thomas was looking for information on Nazi culture, swastikas, anti-Semitic ideas, locations of Jewish synagogues around him, and also asked the question: "Why did Hitler hate the Jews?"

Authorities are also investigating whether Thomas is responsible for last month's stabbing in Monsey that injured a man while he walked to synagogue.