Man charged in Vidalia double-killing pleads not guilty

Published 10:52 am Wednesday, June 1, 2016

VIDALIA — A Natchez man pled not guilty Wednesday to two counts of first-degree murder in connection with an April double-killing in Vidalia.

Curt Thornton, 35, is charged in the killings of his estranged wife, Angela Thornton, 36, and John Tibbs, 36, both of whom were killed at Angela Thornton’s 1649 Azalea Drive residence in Vidalia.

Defense attorney Derrick Carson has until July 8 to file pretrial motions, and the state has until July 22 to answer. The trial of motions will be on August 4. A date has not yet been set for a jury trial.

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Seventh Judicial District Assistant District Attorney Ann Siddall said the state was not seeking the death penalty, but the mandatory sentence is life without benefits.

Siddall motioned for Seventh Judicial District Judge Kathy Johnson to hold Thornton without bond on the grounds he had assets, which could help him post the $800,000 bond currently set. Siddall also said someone charged with a capital offense was not supposed to have been given a bond.

Johnson ordered Thornton to go without bond, and Carson reserved the right to revisit the issue of the bond.

Thornton is alleged to have used a .44-calibur pistol in the early morning hours of April 6 in the killings, as Curt and Angela Thornton’s children were inside the home asleep in another room. One of the children discovered the bodies and called 911 later that morning.

Tibbs had been shot once, while Angela Thornton had been shot several times.

Entry into the house that night had reportedly been done using a torch to cut the Plexiglas on the residence’s back door.

Thornton reportedly fled on his motorcycle following the shootings, but was captured that same afternoon in Amite County. After being stopped for riding without a motorcycle helmet, he is alleged to have admitted to the shootings to the deputy who arrested him.