Thomas was originally indicted for the First Degree Murder of Vincent Bacile, but was tried for Second Degree Murder in October 2009. However, a 12-person jury found him guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter.
Thomas was first sentenced in December 2009 to 25 years with the department of corrections. In February of 2010, the district attorney’s office filed a habitual offender petition.
In February 2012, Thomas was adjudicated a habitual offender. As a result, on June 26, the judge set aside his original sentence and re-sentenced him to serve 45 years.
The murder occurred on March 16, 2001 during an armed robbery at the Piggly Wiggly in Independence.
Thomas and an accomplice were hiding in the store attic during store hours. After closing they came down wearing masks and demanded money. The store owner and several employees were still within. During the robbery, Bacile was shot and killed.
The defendant is considered a habitual offender due to drug related convictions in West Baton Rouge Parish in 1998. He had been out of prison for close to six months at the time of the murder, said Wall.
Thomas must now serve his sentence without benefit of parole, probation, suspension of sentence, or diminution of sentence for good behavior.