WHITEVILLE, NC (WWAY) -- After a jury that convicted a man of four murders could not come to an agreement on a sentence, the judge in the Danny Thomas case handled the sentence.
Jurors tried deliberating again Wednesday afternoon, but they told Judge Thomas Lock they were still deadlocked. He sent them home just after 3 p.m. The judge ruled that Thomas will get four life sentences without the chance of parole to be served consecutively with the life sentence he's already serving.
Wednesday morning the jury was supposed to begin its fifth day of deliberations on a sentence. That attempt was derailed after a deputy reported talking to a juror last night.
The deputy told the court that the juror approached him and asked what they should do if another juror is being uncooperative. The deputy said that the juror told him the other man was not speaking during deliberations, and that when other jurors asked him if he'd been approached by anyone or threatened by anyone, he would not answer.
Earlier this month the jury convicted Thomas in the 2005 murders of four people in Chadbourn. Yesterday it seemed like Judge Lock was going to call an end to the deliberations and sentence Thomas to life in prison instead of the death penalty. The jury is deadlocked 11-1.
This morning, the deputy said the juror in question is the one person going against the rest of the jury.
After hearing from the deputy, Judge Lock told jurors a legal issue had come up. He then dismissed the jury until 1 p.m. while lawyers and the judge figure out what to do next.