Double Homicide Suspect Faces Judge, Families

By Matt Markham

February 22, 2012 Updated Feb 22, 2012 at 7:39 PM EDT

New Milford, PA (WBNG Binghamton) The man accused of killing two others in Susquehanna County faces a judge and loved ones of those he allegedly murdered.

Those loved ones packed the courtroom in New Milford, for the first time seeing the man accused of killing 28 year-old Gilberto Alvarez and 30 year-old Joshua Rogers face to face.

Questions still surround the circumstances of what has been ruled a double homicide, as the defense lays the groundwork for 45 year-old Lloyd Thomas' self-defense argument.

"I was shocked, I'm still shocked," said Lynn Franklin, Rogers' aunt. "It was senseless. There was no need for it."

According to the state police investigation, Alvarez and Rogers were in a Ford Mustang they had claimed was shot at while driving down DuBois Street in Great Bend Township.

They went question Thomas about it on February 11.

"They made no report of this alleged damage, they were armed, they sneak through the woods to the house, they surround the house," said defense attorney George Lepley.

The bodies of the two men, both veterans, were found near Thomas's home on Pine Ayre Road.

The district attorney says Thomas told police both men were unarmed.

"The State Police investigation revealed that Alvarez had no weapon and was shot through the temple," said Jason Legg, Susquehanna County DA. "Any weapon found was quite a distance from the residence."

Shell casings were found behind the home which is also a gun shop.

It is unclear if those casings are connected to this shooting.

When Thomas goes to trial, the defense may claim self defense based on an addition to the Castle Doctrine, which now includes circumstances outside the home.

If Thomas is found guilty, Legg said "a double homicide may be an aggravating factor for the death penalty."

Loved ones stood with photos as Thomas was escorted to court.

"He's very distraught, very upset," Lepley said. "I think you can gather by his body demeanor, his stature, and his facial expressions that he's a timid person who would not do something like this."

The families of Alvarez and Rogers are hoping for justice.

"We're happy that the process has started and we pray that everybody involved acts honorably," Franklin said.

The judge decided that Thomas would not be eligible for bail.

A trail date has yet to be set.