Final suspect pleads to lesser charge in 2014 fatal shooting case

Published 1:52 pm Friday, December 2, 2016

NATCHEZ — The final suspect charged in connection with the 2014 shooting death of 20-year-old Terrance Thornburg pleaded guilty to a lesser charge Wednesday.

Alan T. Thomas, 35, of Natchez, pleaded guilty to aggravated assault before Sixth Judicial District Judge Forrest “Al” Johnson in Adams County Circuit Court. Thomas was originally indicted for capital murder and conspiracy.

Johnson sentenced Thomas to 15 years in prison, with 14 years and two months suspended and credit for 10 months already served. Additionally, Thomas must serve 10 years of post-release supervision.

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Thomas, along with Maurice Davis and Jhakeel Q. Hawkins, was accused in the shooting death of Thornburg on the night of Feb. 23, 2014.

Thornburg reportedly won a substantial amount of money from a dice game with Davis that night.

The three men were accused of later going to Thornburg’s East Stiers Lane residence with the intention of robbing him of the money he had won from Davis.

Authorities have said once the men arrived at the residence, there was a fight and Thornburg was shot in the back of the head.

The Mississippi Attorney General’s Office prosecuted the case following a recusal by the Adams County District Attorney’s Office.

Attorney General’s Office Public Information Officer Rachael Ring said in a statement the investigation did not reveal any substantial evidence that Thomas had prior knowledge of any potential criminal activity before arriving at the victim’s residence.

Ring said Thomas drove his two co-defendants to the victim’s home, then joined them in entering the home prior to the attempted robbery and murder.

Hawkins pleaded guilty Tuesday to aggravated assault and was sentenced to 15 years in the Mississippi Department of Corrections, with 10 years of the sentence suspended with probation and credit for nearly three years time served.

Davis pleaded guilty last week to manslaughter as the shooter in the crime. He was sentenced to 15 years in MDOC.

The case was investigated by the Natchez Police Department and Investigator Jerry Spell of the Attorney General’s Office. Special Assistant Attorneys General Marvin Sanders and Kimberly Purdie prosecuted the case.