One of the most heartbreaking stories in wrestling in recent years occurred in August 2020 when a man named Philip Thomas broke into the home of WWE’s Sonya Deville. The man, an obsessive stalker who had been messaging Sonya on social media for months leading up to the incident, was in possession of a knife, zip ties and duct tape when he was arrested.
Since the incident, Sonya has thankfully returned to the ring. She recently also got engaged to her long-term partner, Toni Cassano. Hopefully tonight’s news will bring a sense of peace to Sonya and she will be able to move on from this trauma.
Attempted kidnapper of Sonya Deville gets 15-year prison sentence, additional 15 years probation
A few hours ago, FOX 13 broke the news that a sentence had been determined for Sonya Deville’s stalker. First, they provide some details of the case, including how the stalker sent dozens of threatening messages online to Sonya along with her friends and family. Sonya ignored them until the man followed through on her threats and broke into her Tampa home.
Now, three years after the incident, the case has been resolved. Reporter Gloria Gómez writes:
Judge Barbara Twine-Thomas accepted a plea deal. Thomas pleaded guilty to several charges, including attempted kidnapping, aggravated stalking and armed robbery. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison followed by 15 years of probation.-FOX 13
While justice was served and no one was hurt, the story is a terrifying reminder of just how obsessive some fans can be. Wrestlers, particularly women, are subjected to hundreds of harassing messages via social media every day. There is always a small but daunting chance that one of the people behind those messages is looking to do more damage.