Hillsborough Circuit Judge Catherine Caitlin ruled that Phillip A. Thomas II, the man who broke into Berenato’s house with the intent to hold her hostage and kill Amanda Saccomanno, known as Mandy Rose, will not receive bail. Thomas will remain incarcerated in county jail until his trial.
Judge Caitlin, after hearing testimony from Berenato on the night, reviewing security camera footage, and reading threatening messages Thomas had sent her, ruled that Thomas was a threat to the safety of the community.
Thomas was represented by a public defender and invoked his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent. The public defender argued Thomas should have bail set at $2 million and be electronically monitored.
Thomas was charged with aggravated stalking, armed burglary of a dwelling, attempted armed kidnapping, and criminal mischief.
On Sunday, after discovering Berenato’s address online, he drove to Florida from South Carolina, cut a hole in the screen of her lanai, and waited for Berenato and her guest (Saccomanno) to go to sleep. After attempting to enter the house, Thomas activated the security alarm. Berenato discovered him in the house and managed to escape with Saccomanno before police arrested him in the house.