Shakopee man who beheaded woman found not guilty due to mental illness

(KSTP) – On Tuesday, a Shakopee man appeared in court on a first-degree murder charge he was indicted on in September of 2021.

Alexis Saborit, 44, was found not guilty of first-degree murder by reason of mental illness, according to court records.

Saborit was facing one count of first-degree murder for the beheading and death of America Mafalda Thayer, 55, in July 2021.

A doctor that treated Saborit noted that he has experienced on-and-off episodes of severe psychosis and mania since at least 2018, court records show.

According to the criminal complaint, on July 28, 2021, Shakopee police responded to a report of a man pushing a headless body out of a vehicle at the intersection of Spencer Street and Fourth Avenue. Upon arrival, officers found Thayer’s body and decapitated head lying nearby a vehicle.

She was pronounced dead at the scene. The vehicle was in her name.

Officers say they discovered a machete-style sheath close to the scene and a stained white shirt, shoes and knife in a recycling bin in a nearby alley. The items were coated with a “blood-like substance,” according to the complaint. Police matched the clothing to a cellphone video of the suspect.

The officers found Saborit walking near Highway 101 and took him into custody.

Saborit has a long record, including a significant history involving alcohol, violence and domestic abuse.

Saborit will now be held at the Scott County jail until the Minnesota Department of Human Services has an open bed for him at a state hospital. That’s supposed to take no more than 48 hours but has been an issue for the state amid the growing mental health crisis in jails.