SHAKOPEE, Minn. (TCD) — A judge has found a 42-year-old man guilty of killing his girlfriend in a “brutal and vicious” attack by beheading her with a machete in front of several onlookers nearly two years ago.
According to the verdict shared by KMSP-TV, First Judicial District Judge Caroline Lennon convicted Alexis Saborit of first-degree premeditated murder for the death of 55-year-old America Thayer. Saborit opted for a bench trial rather than a jury trial, which left the verdict in Lennon’s hands.
On July 28, 2021, Shakopee Police Department officers responded to a stabbing call near Fourth Avenue and Spencer Street and found Thayer deceased on the sidewalk. Officers located Saborit nearby and apprehended him. Police said the killing “wasn’t a random act.”
On the day of the stabbing, Saborit was reportedly supposed to appear in court for a hearing at 1 p.m. An hour later, Saborit, Thayer, and a friend were driving in Thayer’s car and she reportedly got upset because Saborit wouldn’t attend the court hearing. Thayer and Saborit started arguing in Spanish, and he reportedly told the friend to get out of the car.
At 2:31 p.m., a witness called police to report a man “pulled a body out of his car and it has no head.”
According to the verdict, the witness saw Saborit “chopping at something in the car with a huge knife,” then tossing the knife on the grass. Saborit “took what looks like a head with hair out of the car, threw it on the ground, and then pulled the body out of the car.”
Several other witnesses described the same scene to police.
When police got to the scene, they found Thayer’s head “approximately 2 feet from the body.”
The verdict statement said her bra and shirt were found nearby.
Police searched inside the car and found slash marks and blood spatter throughout the interior. They also located a dumbbell “with blood stains and clumps of human hair similar to Thayer’s hair.”
Investigators discovered a machete on a nearby lawn and bloody clothing in a trash can.
While at the police station, Saborit told detectives Thayer “wanted to get rid” of him and “didn’t want to have anything to do with me anymore.”
Saborit said he was “really mad,” and he did it in self-defense.
Thayer and Saborit had been in a relationship for several years and were living together at a local Travelodge, though he claimed she tried to send someone to kill him.
Several of Thayer’s friends and family members noted her relationship with Saborit was abusive and “controlling.” She also reportedly told friends she was scared of him.
Judge Lennon determined Saborit acted with intent and premeditation when he killed Thayer.
Lennon wrote, “The Defendant’s assault on Thayer was brutal and vicious.”
Saborit has a review hearing scheduled for June 1.
The Minnesota Star Tribune reports Saborit faces up to life in prison without parole.
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