October 16, 2013
WHITEVILLE, NC (WWAY) -- A man convicted of a 2005 triple murder in Chadbourn could be given a second trial after the North Carolina Court of Appeals overturned his conviction.
In May of 2011 Danny Lamont Thomas was sentenced to four life sentences for two separate Columbus County murders.
The North Carolina Court of Appeals ordered that Thomas be given new trials for the November 2005 killings of Anthony Martin, and Dennis and Regina Inman as well as a September 2005 shooting in Whiteville.
The Appellate Court ruled that James Payne should have been allowed to replace a juror who admitted that she knew one of the witnesses during testimony.
“It is unusual for a juror to decide during trial that they might not be able to be proper person to sit for the trial,” said James Payne. “However, you've got to credit the juror for doing what they're supposed to do."
The District Attorney’s office has the ability to appeal the case to the North Carolina Supreme Court or choose to let the decision stand and potentially retry it.
Regardless of if he gets a retrial, Danny Thomas will remain in prison for the rest of his life for another murder conviction in Durham County.