Killer pleads to avoid Channel 10 cameras - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Killer pleads to avoid Channel 10 cameras

Sonyanna Thomas (Source: APD) Sonyanna Thomas (Source: APD)

November 14, 2005

Albany -- An Albany man plead guilty to murder Monday, but only after an unnusual concession from the district attorney.

Sammy Brown said he would confess to killing a woman two years ago, only if TV cameras were kept out of the courtroom, and the District Attorney Ken Hodges agreed.

Thirty-seven-year-old Sammy Brown said he would plead guilty to the murder of Sonyanna Thomas in October 2003, but only if our TV cameras were not permited inside the courtroom.

The victim's Husband Lawrence Thomas, said, "I just appreciate the fact the kids didn't have to go through the actual trial. Him denying what he did. By him going on and admitting his guilt, it brought a little relief."

On October 2nd, 2003, the Thomas family found their Butler Street home ransacked, and 29-year-old Sonyanna missing. The family put out an impassioned plea for their Mother's return.

The next day, Sammy Brown was arrested for burglary, after trying to pawn several of the Thomas' items. He also had her car.

October 11th Sonyanna's body was found in a creek just across the Worth County line. Brown was charged with murder.

Thomas said "I just glad he plead guilty and we did not have to go to trial. I'm just ready for it to be over."

Brown was sentenced to life in prison, plus 20 years. The soonest he could get a parole hearing, according to the D. A., is 34 years.

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