The targeted 4 deputies, according to sources, testified that Thomas was a good cop to their knowledge prior to these charges. The 5th deputy was less definitive about any attributes in Thomas's past. Apparently, his indifference or lack of positive character testimony neither helped nor hurt the case and left him himself free from retaliation by the vindictive ECSO.
Now this could be coincidental but why hold off 4 simultaneous investigations until the couple of days after the case was over? Surely, if there were questions as to these peoples' character it might be relevant to their testimony or could these 4 people with 4 different situations become suddenly culpable of these 4 acts within one week's time? The odds must be astronomical.
On the same note, a 2 key character witnesses in the most high profile case in Pensacola history got just as lucky. Lonnie Douglas Smith & Tony Eisa testified in Gonzalez Jr's trial the last week of October, 2010 that Gonzalez Jr. approached them about participating in the robbery. They testified that Gonzalez Jr. was shady and a liar. His character was, in their testimony, that of a person capable of this crime---without a doubt.
Bill Eddins allowed these two men to testify in the trial that took place beginning on 10/25/2010. Strangely enough, Tony Eisa plead guilty to filing a false police report on 10/12/2010 in Santa Rosa County.
ADJUDICATED GUILTY OF FALSE REPORT TO LAW AUTHORITY 10/12/2010
Damn good character witness.
Lonnie Smith is even better story. After being arrested 2/24/2010, Smith was arrested for heroin trafficking, oxy possession, crack and cocaine possession.
Now despite the fact there was significant diversity in drugs and the weight of the heroin, after almost 8 months, Eddins decided not to prosecute the upstanding Smith, just in time for him to testify against Gonzalez Jr. Funny, how that works...