Emotional Thomas Family Speaks Out
By Will Johnson
HOUSTON COUNTY – After a Houston County jury found 75-year-old Leonard Intelisano guilty of the murder of Frank Thomas, 61, on Thursday, July 19, the 349th District Court – with Judge Pam Foster Fletcher presiding – stood in recess until Monday, July 23.
When court was reconvened on Monday morning, the seven man and five woman jury was tasked with determining Intelisano’s sentence. After all the testimony had been presented in the penalty phase of the trial, the jury retired to their chambers for deliberation.
Approximately 30 minutes later, the jury sent a note to Judge Fletcher indicating they had reached a determination on the sentence. After Fletcher cautioned the gallery about any type of emotional outbursts, she brought the jury back into the courtroom.
The verdict form was handed to the judge and she read the sentence to a standing room only gallery.
“We, the jury, having found the defendant guilty of the felony offense of murder – as alleged in the indictment – and having made a negative finding on the issue of sudden passion, assesses punishment at 61 years confinement in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Institutions Division. We further assess the punishment at a fine of $10,000,” Fletcher read.
Once the sentence was handed down, Sheila Thomas – the wife of Frank Thomas – gave her victim’s impact statement.
“Frank was my life,” she began. “Your (Intelisano’s) actions on Jan. 13, 2016 destroyed the planned, final chapters of our lives. You took my life, my love, my future. Anger, grief, resentment and loss have become my constant feelings.”
Fighting back tears unsuccessfully, Thomas said Intelisano’s actions “… altered my life in the worst possible way.”
She added Intelisano had been a friend to her family who “… ate at our table and attended social events in our home and worked alongside Frank in many instances.”
“Joy, laughter, fun, giggles – dreams were taken from us way to soon. I will never feel his arms around me again. Shared dreams and future plans – I’ll never hear his voice again. Your action caused us this pain,” she said.
After the court proceedings concluded, Angie Baker – the stepdaughter of Frank and Sheila Thomas spoke with The Messenger.
“I’m happy justice was finally served. One down and one to go,” Baker said.
The one who Baker referenced is Brandon Hill. Hill also stands accused of her step-dad’s murder. His trial is set to begin in mid-October.
Thomas’ older sister – Laura Webb – said her brother should still be here.
“I’m the one who raised him, even though he was my brother. He never hurt anybody and he never harmed anyone. There was no reason for Len (Intelisano) to do what he did to him. It was just vengeance on his part. It’s like I teach my grandchildren – walk away, cool off, come back and talk about it. That wasn’t the way it was with Len,” she said.
“His wife (Intelisano’s) is going to have to go home to a lonely bed, now, just like my sister-in-law (Sheila Thomas). She’s like a sister to us. We always had a place we could go to, but he’s taken all that away from all of us. It’s not just me, but his grandkids, his wife, his sister, me. There are just so many families involved. It’s terrible,” she said.
“My kids miss him so much,” Baker added. “They couldn’t even be here. It was just too much for them.”
“I’ve always been there for him but this time I couldn’t be there to help him,” Webb tearfully said.
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.