MONTROSE — The jury has reached a verdict in a double homicide case in Susquehanna county.
A jury found Lloyd Thomas not guilty on the most serious charges of first and third-degree murder.
The jury did convict him on two counts of voluntary manslaughter and two drug charges.
The jury began deliberating Thomas’s fate late Thursday afternoon.
Earlier in the day, they heard the man accused of murdering two people testify in his own defense.
Thomas was the first and only witness called by the defense. He is accused of shooting and killing Joshua Rogers and Gilberto Alvarez almost two years ago.
For two hours, Thomas told jurors that he only shot at the men out of fear.
“It was scary. I was scared.”
That’s how Lloyd Thomas described Feburary 11, 2012, the day he saw two men in his yard and shot them both.
Thomas says he spotted the men while he was inside his father’s home near Hallstead and watched as they separated, one going to the front of the house and one to the back.
“I kind of stood there watching him and I saw a shotgun moving. I fired twice,” Thomas testified.
Thomas also claimed in court he thought Alvarez was also armed. When Thomas yelled out, he claims Alvarez didn’t stop.
“I couldn’t see his (Alvarez’s) arm. He made a quick turn when he got to the corner of the house. I shot him. I thought he had a handgun.”
Testimony revealed to jurors that Thomas had marijuana and drug paraphernalia scattered in the home. He admitted to smoking pot a little more than 12 hours before the shooting.
Thomas showed little emotion while on the stand, but claims immediately after he fired the fatal shots two years ago, “I was crying, panicking. I don’t know. I was very scared.”
After his two hours of testimony, the defense decided not to call any other witnesses to the stand.
The jury began deliberations a little before 4 p.m and reached a verdict just after 6 p.m.