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Sentencing Trial of Floyd County Killer Resumes Wednesday

02/18/14 11:15 p.m.

By: Kevin Karel (WRGA News)

The sentencing trial of convicted murderer Gary Chad Thommason continued Tuesday in Floyd County Superior Court and it was the defendant’s past which became a focal point of testimony.

The defense spent the afternoon calling three witnesses including clinical psychologist Dr. Victoria Reynolds who examined Thomason for 12 hours. She told the court he displayed aspects of being in a “disassociative state” when he explained his thoughts to her during the murder of Roman Jerry Self. Reynolds said Thomason was a victim of violence while in prison as a young man before the murder and suffered through a difficult childhood where he was exposed to criminal activity.

Two other witnesses were called, one of whom was Reverend William Moore, himself a convicted killer who was paroled in 1991 due in part to the forgiveness of his victims family. Moore was hired by the defense to speak with Thomason three times in recent months. Moore testified Thomason told him a stabbing he was involved in on death row last year was a matter of self-defense. Witness James Aiken, a retired prison warden also hired by the defense, said Thomason was less of a threat now due to age and his lack of gang activity while incarcerated. He told the court community standards didn’t apply in prison and Thomason had no choice but to defend himself in the stabbing incident when he cut another inmate with a shank.

The trial resumes at 9 a.m. Wednesday in Judge Neidrach’s courtroom and the defense is expected to call several more witnesses to the stand.

Neidrach will determine whether Thomason serves the rest of his life in prison or whether he can eventually become eligible for parole. Thomason, now age 42, has been in prison for murder since 1992.