State Attorney Bill Eddins announced today that Frederick Lee Thornton, Jr. will appear before Judge Nickolas Geeker Thursday, Jan. 28 at 9:30 a.m. He is expected to enter a plea. Thornton is charged with premeditated homicide and home invasion robbery with firearm or other deadly weapon in the murders of Byrd and Melanie Billings. Eddins has already issued notice that he intended to seek the death penalty against Thornton.
Update 4:26 p.m.: We have heard that Thornton has agreed to testify in exchange for the State Attorney lowering the charges to second degree murder.