PTC home invasion, assault linked to drug debt

A defendant on trial for assaulting a Peachtree City woman during a home invasion in July 2012 committed the crime to pay off a debt to a local drug dealer, prosecutors told the jury Tuesday morning.

Assistant District Attorney Ben Thomsen said Ted Andrew Jefferson beat the 60-year-old victim and a man who was in a downstairs apartment after two men wearing masks burst into her home on Woodland Drive, with one of them carrying a shotgun. The victim made an attempt to escape when Jefferson was distracted, and she was ultimately shot in the head, though she survived, Thomsen said.

Jefferson’s attorney claimed his client wasn’t even at the crime scene, alleging that the drug dealer in question took Jefferson’s car to the location to commit the crime himself.

Thomsen said text messages sent from Jefferson’s cellphone days before the crime will show that he planned to participate in the heist, supposedly to get “inheritance money” from a tenant living in the basement apartment.

Jefferson is charged with two counts of armed robbery, two counts of aggravated assault, one count of kidnapping with bodily injury, one count of burglary and one count of possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.

Two co-defendants are expected to testify against Jefferson in the case: his cousin Gilbert Jefferson and Peachtree City resident Chris Falkner, whom prosecutors painted as the drug dealer to whom Ted Jefferson owed money. Falkner pled guilty late last year and got a 10-year probation sentence, and Gilbert Jefferson pled last week in exchange for a 10-year prison sentence.

Ted Jefferson’s attorney, Rodney A. Williams, accused Falkner of executing the crime while using his client’s car while Ted Jefferson remained at Big Daddy’s Oyster Bar in Peachtree City. Williams told the jury that Falkner is unfairly pinning the home invasion on his client.

“Ted said, ‘Chris Falkner asked me to rip a guy off for $5,000 and I’m not into that and told him as much,’” Williams said of one occasion when Peachtree City police interviewed Ted Jefferson.

The trial is expected to resume today after breaking prior to noon Tuesday for an unanticipated motion hearing.

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