TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — An obsessive stalker who tried to kidnap WWE Superstar Sonya Deville nearly three years ago was sentenced to more than a decade behind bars, according to court documents obtained by WFLA.
Phillip Arnold Thomas was arrested on suspicion of stalking and trying to kidnap Deville at her home in Lutz, Florida in August 2020.
According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, Thomas, who is from South Carolina, had been stalking Deville on social media for a few years, and had spent eight months plotting to kidnap her before he traveled to her home and tried to take her hostage.
Authorities said he parked his vehicle at the nearby Idlewild Baptist Church, walked to Deville’s home, and used a knife to cut a hole in the patio screen. He waited for a few hours, then broke in through a back sliding door, setting off a security alarm.
Deville and a guest, fellow WWE superstar Amanda Sacmanno, who is better known as Mandy Rose, were able to leave the home and call 911.
When officers arrived, they found Thomas with a knife, plastic zip ties, duct tape, and mace.
He was arrested and charged with aggravated stalking, armed burglary, attempted kidnapping, and criminal mischief.
“Our deputies are unveiling the suspect’s disturbing obsession with this homeowner who he had never met, but stalked on social media for years,” Sheriff Chad Chronister said at the time. “It’s frightening to think of all the ways this incident could have played out had the home alarm not gone off and alerted the homeowner of an intruder.”
In April, Thomas agreed to a plea deal with prosecutors and was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment, plus 15 years of probation once he is released.
In addition to the prison term, the judge ordered Thomas to have no contact with Deville or her family. He must also cover court fees and undergo a psycho-sexual evaluation and complete any recommendation within 60 days of his release.