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Man Guilty of Manslaughter in Massacre

July 19, 1985|Associated Press

NEW YORK — A 35-year-old man was convicted of manslaughter today in the deaths of eight children and two women in last year's Palm Sunday massacre, one of the worst mass killings in the city's history.

The state Supreme Court jury found Christopher Thomas guilty of 10 counts of intentional murder, which it then reduced to first-degree manslaughter because of "extreme emotional disturbance."

Jurors had been given a written form instructing them to consider "extreme emotional disturbance" as a mitigating factor and concluded that it merited the reduced charge.

Thomas had been charged with 20 counts of second-degree murder--10 counts of intentional murder and 10 counts of felony murder for murder committed during a robbery.

Sentencing Sept. 10

He faces a maximum of 18 to 25 years in prison on each of the manslaughter convictions when he is sentenced Sept. 10.

The women and children were killed at the Brooklyn home of convicted cocaine dealer Enrique Bermudez. Bermudez's pregnant girlfriend and his two daughters were among the victims. An 11-month-old girl was the only survivor.

Prosecutors said that Thomas believed that his wife was having an affair with Bermudez behind his back and that the two men had a falling out over drug debts to Bermudez.

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