CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Thomas Mallo, the juvenile convicted of stabbing his elderly West Side neighbor to death in 2009, will turn 18 next month and return to court to ask that his sentence be reconsidered.
Mallo has been held at the Industrial Home for Youth in Salem since pleading guilty to second-degree murder in the brutal killing of his neighbor, Phyllis Jean Phares, 80. He was sentenced to the maximum of 40 years in prison.
According to law, he was to be incarcerated at a juvenile facility until his 18th birthday. Mallo turns 18 on Dec. 6.
His attorney, Kanawha County Chief Public Defender George Castelle, indicated that the judge could grant a motion for a reduced sentence at his next hearing in mid-December.
Meanwhile, Mallo faces charges in Harrison County after trying to overcome a staffer and flee the juvenile detention center in January. Prosecutors said Mallo is charged with malicious assault, attempted escape and conspiracy to attempt escape.
According to monthly progress reports filed by Salem officials, on Jan. 30 Mallo and another resident attacked and handcuffed an officer while they were taking trash to a Dumpster. He was moved to a more secure unit after that failed escape attempt.
Prior to that incident, Mallo's progress reports indicate that he was doing well with schoolwork - sometimes earning honor roll status. He was in a treatment plan that included learning coping skills to effect positive change and to manage emotions, avoid drug use and deal with family relations.
His most recent report, however, reveals a grade point average of 1.33 and a failed class.
Castelle appealed to Kanawha Circuit Judge Carrie Webster to be lenient with Mallo and consider his family life and mental deficiency when he was sentenced in July 2010.