In a letter to his pregnant girlfriend, Laura Boren, on July 1, 1999 — the day after his latest threat to commit suicide — Andre Thomas said he worried he wouldn’t be around for his son.
“I love you so much, and tell my beautiful son I love him, too,” he wrote from the Grayson County Juvenile Detention Center. “I cry at night when I think about him having to grow up without [me] being there.”
There was little doubt Thomas, now 16, needed mental health treatment: By age 10 voices echoed in his head; by 13, he had twice attempted suicide. One of his first arrests of at least six came at age 11 after he and some buddies took golf carts for a 4 a.m. joy ride. In 1997, when he was 14, he was caught three times stealing cars.
This collaboration between the Tribune and Texas Monthly runs in a different form in the March edition of TM, "Trouble in MInd: How should criminals who are mentally ill be punished?" It's in the March edition.
Earlier coverage of the Tribune series begins at the link.