Murder charges dismissed against one suspect in Pike County

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

A murder charge is dismissed against one of the four suspects accused of killing a Pike County man and burning down his home.
Police say in May, Millard "Mitty" Thornhill was shot and then his trailer set on fire.

Four people were charged with robbery and murder. One suspect, Jeffery Lowe, pleaded guilty to manslaughter last month.

Thursday, murder charges were dismissed against Cynthia Ryan, but she will still go to prison on other charges.

Ryan admitted she went to help rob Thornhill but said she did not kill him.
After a mental evaluation determined she was competent for trial, she took a plea deal. As part of the deal to dismiss the murder charges, she pleaded guilty to robbery.

Cynthia Ryan came into court and admitted she was at Millard Thornhill's trailer on May 19th. However, she told the judge she did not kill him.
"We went down there to rob him, but the death wasn't supposed to happen. I didn't know that was going to happen," Ryan told Judge Eddy Coleman.

On May 19th, Millard Thornhill's trailer in Hatfield burned. His body was found inside. Police say he was shot to death before the house was set on fire.
Ryan was one of four suspects charged with murder and robbery.
On Thursday, the Commonwealth's Attorney agreed Ryan was not responsible for his death and offered a plea deal to dismiss the murder charge in exchange for a guilty plea to robbery.
Ryan accepted the plea deal to dismiss the murder charge.

"She had no intent of any harm coming to Mr. Thornhill and did not take part in any action that resulted in physical harm to him," said Will Collins, Ryan's defense attorney.

Although Ryan admitted to helping rob Thornhill, she did not say what the motive was for the robbery, nor what led to the deadly shooting.

She pleaded guilty to the robbery charge. The commonwealth recommended a ten year sentence. Ryan will be sentenced on February 3rd.

Another suspect, Randy Thomas, was also in court on Thursday and a trial date was set for February 13th.

The other suspect, Shannon Turner, is undergoing a mental evaluation to see if she is competent for trial.

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