KANAWHA COUNTY, WV (WOWK) – The trial of a man accused of violently assaulting a customer in a McDonald’s bathroom has been pushed to next year.

Richard Thornton is facing charges including first-degree robbery and attempted murder. He was granted a continuance due to his mental evaluation not being complete. However, during a hearing Monday, Aug. 21, 2023, Kanawha County Judge Kenneth Ballard rejected a request for a bond reduction, citing that Thornton was a “danger to the public.”

The charges against Thornton stem from an incident that happened Jan. 17, 2023, at the Crossings Mall McDonald’s in Elkview. According to Kanawha County deputies, a man had been stabbed and robbed in the restaurant’s bathroom by an employee, later identified as Thornton, who followed him in.

The victim was taken to the hospital with serious injuries.

After the incident, Thornton was arrested at a nearby gas station. Deputies say he allegedly had the victim’s wallet and a bloody knife. The restaurant’s owner told WOWK 13 News after the incident that Thornton was “no longer employed” at the restaurant.

According to court records, Thornton pleaded not guilty to the charges in April 2023.

Court records also state that Thornton was already serving a one-year probation for attempted malicious wounding of emergency service personnel, effective August 18, 2022. That incident happened in September 2019.

Thornton was originally charged with two counts of attempted murder in connection to that incident; however, he accepted a plea agreement to dismiss those charges and seek mental health treatment, according to court records.

In February 2019, Thornton was also charged with burglary, but the charge was dismissed.

Thornton’s new trial date is set for Jan. 2, 2024.