FIRST ON 3: Jurors in Thomas case deadlocked; Judge gives life sentence

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Submitted: Thu, 05/19/2011 - 3:25am
Updated: Thu, 05/19/2011 - 12:26pm

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.


  • Guest2 says:

    This criminal needs the electric chair. I would have no problem flipping the switch. Hope he has a horrible time in prison. Justice has not been served. Prayers for the victims and their families.

  • Guest3293 says:

    I would stand and hold your hand a we could flip the switch together. He will probably have a better life in prison than he has had on the outside. Colored TV, excerise equipment, basketball court, three hot meals a day, all the education that he cares for (while hard working people have to struggle to get an education). Our judicial systems is for the criminals and not the victims. PATHETIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • LawDog says:

    Maybe the DA should have spent more time on the Columbus County murder trial and less time worrying about that important traffic court issue! I wonder how many times he actually went to the courtroom to see how things were going…

  • Guest28451 says:

    Somebody obviously lied during jury selection about being open minded about the death penalty which is a requirement for juries in death penalty cases. Whoever the person is should be immediately charged with perjury for lying under oath because obviously they had no intention of even considering a death penalty option despite this mans heinous acts. If a guy who murders this many does deserve a one way ticket to Central Prison Death Row I dunno who does.. With it being deadlocked at 11-1 for days its obvious we all know the vote was 1 against sending him to death row hence why I say this person obviously committed perjury during jury selection.

  • elisabeth says:

    i agree also but at the same time i feel as if he shouldve been put to death the same way he killed those people so he can feel the way his innocent victums felt. i dont think it is fear that he is in prison for the rest the rest of his life having nothing to worry about bills or nothing else. this man is still here with his famiy. he can see his family his children(if he has any) and the those who had there life takin cant see there children grow and there family can never hold there loved ones another day.thats is not justice in my eyes that is a sla[p on the wrist and thats it.but on the other hand at least these familys and friends can put there loved ones to rest for ever know and dont have to go threw all this and they can know allow there there hearts to heal and move on.

  • Guest7969 says:

    like there was a left wing liberal nut job in the group that didn’t want to end this THUGS LIFE!!! TOO BAD…justice just wasn’t served here!

  • GrizzlyRN says:

    So, you murder 4 people and get life in prison. How stupid. This man deserves the electric chair. I volunteer to flip the switch too. Just another convict that my tax money has to feed for the rest of his life, which I hope is short lived.

  • SurfCityTom says:

    serving a life sentence. So give him another for 4 seperate slayings.

    Where’s the justice in this?

    That 12th juror should hang his head in shame.

    Hang him; hang him high.

  • Guest333 says:

    Man! If this murderer of four people did not get the Death penalty, then NO ONE SHOULD.

    Another words, the judge is a wimp and the jury was about as lame as you can get.

    Jurors, you will be paying for this murderer to sit in the comfort of 3 squares and a cot, in an air conditioned cell, reading books, exercising, and watching TV for the rest of his natural born day.

    He may live to be one hundred years old. They say it costs approximately $150-$300.. a day to keep a grown man incarcerated. I know that you cannot compute the math, but try to get cousin Jethro to cipher the bottom line to make you realize JUST how MUCH you screwed up!

    Oh, what good use of your and our tax dollars! The lawyers certainly didn’t pick you for your brains…rather lack of…


  • GuestLee says:

    There was only one juror who was the goof. He refused to budge and actually fell asleep during some of the deliberations. The others tried their best to get that one juror’s cooperation, but he wouldn’t budge. More than a goof….he (or she) is a disgrace!

  • guesty says:

    The taxpayers will now be on the hook for all costs associated with this clown because one person couldn’t see what most everybody else can. Thomas should never get out of prison alive but we will pay for food, clothing, education and any medical care he needs for the rest of his life. Yea, sounds like a great deal.

  • SurfCityTom says:

    in the absence of a properly applied death penalty, how would you propose society deter murder?

    As long as there are whiney liberals who oppose the death penalty, there is no deterent to prevent or reduce the liklihood of murder.

    I wonder what your position would be if confronted by a pistol packing thug who decides to relieve you of your wallet & use you for a target.

  • Guest1322 says:

    I tip my hat to the juror who held out on this barbaric (death penalty) practice.

    Two wrongs do not make a right. Good job lone juror.

  • guesty says:

    I agree that is way too long. Just like time limits need to be imposed on how long a slug can suck up welfare, there should be a time limit before the death sentence must be carried out. And change the 3 strikes law from life in prison to 3 strikes and you die. The criminal would have proven he/she lacks the ability to live in a civil society and therefor needs to be put down like the animal they are. Real cost savings if it were to be implemented and used.

  • Guest461 says:

    …spends in excess of 14 years going through the appeals process to continually suck on the taxpayers money. Unfortunately, they don’t drag them from the courtroom to the gallows for sentence fulfillment anymore.

  • SurfCityTom says:

    1. It costs a lot less to support a dirt bag who will go through a 14 year appeal process than to support one for 50 to 60 years in the penal system.

    2. Your post, though, does bring food for thought. Perhaps we should adopt the Islamic approach to the death penalty. Once convicted, the prisoner gets 48 hours to say farewell to family and make his peace with God for his misdeeds. Perhaps that is the better, more humane manner. And rather than lethal injection, how about hanging, stoning, or beheading?

  • SurfCityTom says:

    he had already been convicted and sentenced to life in prison for a seperate incident.

    Now, he has 4 murders to pay a penalty for; and apparently one juror did not have the stones to give him the death penalty.

    Our judicial system will never be a deterent to crime with these types of court results.

  • Guest333 says:


    Thank you for correction to my post, much deserved! I knew that it was a sole person on the jury who directed the outcome, and mis-spoke.

    I believe that I was too angry at the entire mode and influence of the new age, old hippie, liberal thinking that criminals have more rights than their victims or victims families.

    Thank you to the jurors who had the insight and fortitude to vote that D.T. be given the death penalty and forgive my blunder to cast you with the single idiot who did not empathize with the victims and the long line of grieving family and friends they left behind, but rather, with the slime that sat before him or her.

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