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Murder charges dismissed against two suspects

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

Murder charges are dismissed against the final two suspects accused of killing a Pike County man and burning his home last year.

In May of last year, Millard Thornhill's body was found in his burned trailer in Hatfield. Jeffery Lowe, Randy Thomas, Cynthia Ryan, and Shannon Turner were all indicted on murder and robbery charges.

This week, Randy Thomas and Shannon Turner both took plea deals in exchange to dismiss the murder charges.
Their guilty pleas in court provided some answers as to what happened the night Thornhill died.

On Wednesday, Randy Thomas told the judge he was not the person who killed Millard Thornhill but admitted he was involved in a plot to rob him.
"They said I was robbing him and then killed him, I guess but Jeffery done took a plea deal for killing him, and I was, it was just a big mess. I was just with the wrong people at the wrong time," Thomas said in court.

In May of last year, police said Thornhill was shot to death before his home was set on fire.

"I know the girls was going to steal pills off of him," Thomas told the judge. "And you went with them?" the judge asked. "No, I was with my buddies," Thomas answered.

The two women admitted to the robbery. Cynthia Ryan already pleaded guilty last month. On Tuesday, Shannon Turner was declared competent for trial and pleaded guilty to robbery. Murder charges were dismissed against both women in exchange for the guilty pleas to robbery.

In December, Jeffery Lowe admitted he helped killed Thornhill and pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

Thomas still maintains he was not at Thornhill's home. Wednesday, his murder charge was dismissed and other charge reduced to criminal intent to robbery.

"They wanted us to wait on them," Thomas told the judge. "But you knew what they were doing?" the judge asked. "Yeah, yeah, I knew they were going to steal pills," said Thomas.

The commonwealth’s attorney recommended a ten year sentence for both Thomas and Turner. They will be sentenced in March.

Jeffery Lowe is serving a twenty year sentence.

Cynthia Ryan is serving a ten year sentence.

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