Retrial gets underway

The convicted killer of five people, including four in Columbus County, will return to court here this week for a new trial.

Danny Lamont Thomas, 45, was convicted on four counts of first degree murder in May of 2011 in Columbus County Superior Court. He had previously been convicted of the same crime in Durham after killing a man in July 2005 in Durham, a few months before the Columbus deaths. Thomas was tracked down in Colorado and returned to stand trial in North Carolina.

Thomas was convicted of robbing and killing Craig Lesand Williams of Clarkton on Sept. 10. A few days later, Thomas committed the same crimes against Ivery Dennis Lennon, his wife of two weeks, Regnia Renee Dossie Inman, and Anthony “Goofy” Martin. The three were killed at Inman’s home on Dessie Road near Chadbourn. In August of that year, Thomas also assaulted and robbed Terrance Rowell, and committed a similar crime in December.

Investigators and testimony showed that Thomas was robbing alleged drug dealers in the area.

In two separate trials, Thomas was sentenced to a total of five life terms, including the Durham killing. He was found guilty of first degree murder, armed robbery, assault with intent to kill, inflicting serious injury, and other charges.

The N.C. Court of Appeals ruled that Special Superior Court Judge Thomas Lock made a mistake when he refused a request by defense attorneys James Payne and Mike Ramos to remove one of the jurors after proceedings had begun. Jurors also reported problems with one of their fellow panelists during deliberations.
See today’s NR for more. We will be providing continuing coverage through the trial.