Families react to Thomas' guilty verdict

By Kelly McCarthy

January 17, 2014 Updated Jan 17, 2014 at 1:53 PM EDT

Montrose, PA (WBNG Binghamton) Mothers of the two victims killed by Lloyd Thomas respond to his guilty verdict of lesser charges.

Lloyd Thomas, 47, was convicted on two counts of voluntary manslaughter, possession of controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

After the jury told Lloyd Thomas he was guilty of voluntary manslaughter his defense attorney George Leply said he was "obviously depressed."

Thomas was found guilty of shooting and killing Joshua Rogers, 30, and Gilberto Alvarez, 28, in 2012. The jury decided Thomas was acting in self-defense but his actions were unreasonable.

"He waited 61 feet to shoot him in the head," said Alvarez's mother Suzette Benet, "That's not self defense, that's not involuntary manslaughter, that is plain murder."

The mothers of both victims must now deal with Thomas serving a shorter sentence than they hoped.

"At least he won't go home today, they revoked the bail," said Sharon Rogers, mother of Joshua Rogers, "It wont bring my son back but hopefully he'll have some time in jail to reflect what he did."

Thomas was taken immediately from the courtroom to the Susquehanna County Jail. He had been out on bail since June 2012. Thomas is set to be sentenced at 9:30 a.m. Feb. 27.

"He could be facing easily three to four years on each count," Lepley said, "So he could be looking at probably at least a minimum of five or six years and maybe as much as 10 years."

The victims' families say they will keep the memories of both men alive forever. Two best friends who met in the Army.

"My son went to fight for this country at 17 years old," Benet said, "When most kids are at home enjoying themselves and just hanging out. And he was a good person."

Attached is a letter Benet gave to Action News shortly after the verdict. The letter is from one of Alvarez's Commanders in Fort Drum, and the family would like to share it with the public.

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