The Shakopee Police Department identified the suspect in Wednesday’s gruesome homicide as 42-year-old Alexis Saborit of Shakopee, Minnesota.
The victim was also identified by Shakopee police as 55-year-old America Mafalda Thayer of Shakopee. Police said she was found with “stab wounds” on the sidewalk just after 2:30 p.m. at the intersection of Fourth Avenue and Spencer Street in Shakopee. Police believe the victim and suspect knew each other and that the incident was not random.
Gruesome photos and video were circulated on social media in the hours following the incident, which appear to show that Thayer was beheaded. A video captured by a neighborhood resident shows the suspect pulling a body out of a vehicle onto the ground.
At one point, the suspect appears to pick up the severed head of the victim before dropping it back on the ground.
Court records show that at the time of the alleged murder, Saborit was out on bail for a felony case in which he was charged last November in Scott County with first-degree arson and first-degree damage to property.
Court documents related to that case dug up by Crime Watch Minneapolis and posted online reveal that the court had concerns about Saborit’s mental stability and the possible threat he posed to the community, yet he was released from custody at least twice on bond, most recently in April.
Despite the court's observation & his defense's claim that Saborit was mentally ill, he was released on bail. This spring, his conditional release was ordered revoked & a court doc claimed he was a danger to people & community. Judge Richard C. Perkins ordered him released. pic.twitter.com/CsGHywb9Fy
— CrimeWatchMpls (@CrimeWatchMpls) July 29, 2021
Original charges in the arson case state that on Nov. 9, 2020 officers were dispatched to the Pullman Club in Shakopee on a report of a Puerto Rican male smashing car windows with a baseball bat. While en route, police were advised that the suspect had returned to his second-floor apartment near the Pullman Club and was holding a gas can out of the window.
Police proceeded to engage and negotiate with the suspect, subsequently identified as Saborit, for over 30 minutes. During this time, he screamed about hating people and the police, and poured fuel from a gas can while threatening to light it on fire. At one point, Saborit appeared with a machete in his hand and another time with a baseball bat.
Officers eventually observed that a fire had been started near the door of Saborit’s apartment and black smoke began to pour out of the window. Saborit began throwing items out of the window. Some of the debris landed on a car below, damaging the hood and windshield.
Saborit eventually jumped out of the window of the apartment and landed on the hood of a vehicle. When officers attempted to arrest him, he was uncooperative and resisted arrest.
Court records show that Saborit was originally ordered conditionally released by Judge Kevin W. Eide and posted a $75,000 bond several days after his arrest, even though a mental competency evaluation had been ordered and Saborit’s defense attorney planned to submit that he was mentally ill.
On March 31, 2021, Saborit’s conditional release was ordered revoked because he failed a urinalysis, which came back positive for alcohol in violation of his release conditions.
Within the revocation order, a box was checked that said, “Continued release of defendant will endanger safety of any person or the community.”
Despite that warning, Saborit was again ordered conditionally released on April 1, 2021 by Senior Judge Richard C. Perkins after paying an additional $50,000 in bail, according to court records and documents.
On the afternoon of the alleged murder, Saborit was scheduled to appear in court on the arson charge at 2 p.m. He failed to appear at that hearing. Thirty minutes later, police were called to the scene of the homicide.
Late Thursday afternoon, mourners and community members placed flowers at the site where Thayer’s body was found. Former coworkers told photojournalist Rebecca Brannon that Thayer worked at MyPillow and had a violent history with Saborit.
People are asking others to bring flowers to leave to honor America Thayer, inviting anyone to speak about her or domestic violence.
Former co-workers of Thayer say she was such a giving person & currently worked at My Pillow. They say she had a violent history w/ the suspect. pic.twitter.com/fJ5KvBjRTi
— Rebecca Brannon (@RebsBrannon) July 29, 2021
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Minnesota Crime Watch & Information publishes news, info and commentary about crime, public safety and livability issues in Minneapolis, the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota.