CBSN

"Palm Sunday Massacre" killer Christopher Thomas freed after 34 years in prison

NEW YORK -- A man who killed 10 people in 1984 in one of New York City's most notorious massacres has been released from prison. The New York Times reports that Christopher Thomas was released in January from Shawangunk Correctional Facility in Wallkill, New York.

Thomas killed eight children and two women in a Brooklyn home in a crime known as the "Palm Sunday Massacre." The sole survivor was a 13-month-old girl.

The now 68-year-old Thomas was convicted of manslaughter in 1985. Some jurors said they convicted him of manslaughter, not murder, because Thomas' heavy cocaine use was a factor in the crimes.

State law capped Thomas' sentence at 50 years. Prison officials said that with time off for good behavior, he was eligible for release after serving two-thirds of that time.

On Friday, retired NYPD Lt. Herbert Hohmann, who led the investigation into Thomas, told the New York Post: "He doesn't deserve to be on the street . . . He killed poor, innocent children."