Man Gets 15-Year Sentence for Trying to Kidnap WWE Star Sonya Deville

WWE's Sonya Deville's attempted kidnapper receives sentence.

by Atia Mukhtar
Man Gets 15-Year Sentence for Trying to Kidnap WWE Star Sonya Deville

On Tuesday, a man who attempted to kidnap WWE Superstar Sonya Deville in 2020 received a 15-year prison sentence. Phillip Thomas agreed to a plea deal in which he pled guilty to attempted kidnapping, aggravated stalking, and armed burglary, as reported by Gloria Gomez of Fox 13 in Tampa.

In August 2020, Thomas broke into Deville's home, armed with a knife, zip ties, and duct tape. Deville managed to escape after noticing Thomas through an opened sliding glass door, and he was subsequently arrested upon entering the house.

According to Tony Marrero of the Tampa Bay Times, prosecutors revealed in 2020 that Thomas admitted to planning to spray and subdue Deville, intending to keep her from leaving her home until she had answered all his questions.

Threats Preceded Kidnapping Attempt

Deville stated that Thomas had sent threatening messages to her, as well as her friends and family, in the months leading up to the break-in. The 29-year-old WWE star first joined the organization as a contestant on the Tough Enough reality show in 2015.

It was on a promising career trajectory during the attempted kidnapping. Deville was amid a storyline involving her real-life friend Mandy Rose, culminating in a grudge match at SummerSlam. Despite the incident, Deville and Rose continued with the match, after which Deville took a temporary break from WWE to focus on testifying against Thomas.

Upon her return to WWE programming, Deville served as an on-screen authority figure rather than a wrestler. She had her next match 14 months after facing Rose at SummerSlam 2020. Deville resumed her in-ring career last year and currently forms a tag team with Chelsea Green.

The duo competed in a four-way tag team match at WrestleMania 39 in April and were drafted to Raw during the 2023 WWE draft over the weekend. In addition to his 15-year prison sentence, Thomas will face 15 years of probation upon his release from prison.

Sonya Deville