• Lynda Cohen

Woman charged in Galloway attack remains jailed after third violation of release

Zakiya Thomas appears during the hearing via video from the jail.

A Camden County woman accused in a domestic attack in Galloway Township will now stay in jail after violating her release three times. Zakiya Thomas, 25, of Sicklerville, was first arrested in 2018, after she allegedly attacked her ex-boyfriend’s girlfriend and vandalized the man’s vehicle with a bat and tire iron. Thomas was released with conditions in the Aug. 26, 2018 attack. But since, has incurred two more domestic violence charges, and been taken into custody three times. She was then ordered held as the case goes through the courts. The state has made an offer of eight years under the No Early Release Act, which would require her to serve 85 percent of the term. But nothing has been accepted. Thomas’ new attorney argued Thursday that Thomas has asthma and should be released due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Defense attorney Robert Boney, who just took on the case about two weeks ago, said he did not believe that was considered at the earlier detention hearing. But Assistant Prosecutor Mathew Feldman countered that there was no medical documentation to back up Thomas’ claims. Thomas was allegedly outside her former boyfriend’s home in Galloway Township when she was seen striking his vehicle with a wooden bat. The man went outside to try to calm Thomas, then took one of the children out of her car, according to the affidavit. Thomas then kicked in the door to the residence armed with a knife, the charges claim. Both women wound up with cuts to their faces. Thomas then went outside, got a small tire iron from her car and started striking her former boyfriend’s vehicle again, according to the affidavit. Later, Thomas’ son would tell police, “This is what Mommy hit the car with,” and hand officers the tire iron. Thomas told police she did not remember damaging the vehicle because she “blacked out,” the affidavit states. Superior Court Judge Patricia Wild said she released Thomas after the 2018 arrest, despite a recommendation for no release at her first detention hearing. But when the third violation came, Wild remanded Thomas during an appearance in court before hearings went virtual. “Your client behaved in a manner which was totally out of control,” Wild told Boney during a virtual hearing Friday. Boney did not represent Thomas at that time. “In front of me, she collapsed on the floor and could be hear in the detention area for quite some time by other judges,” the judge said. “She was, frankly, I’ll put it, ranting and raving. I would suggest maybe your client needs some sort of psychological evaluation.”

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