A Snellville man is expected to face a steep prison sentence after he was found guilty Friday of participating in a July 2012 home invasion in Peachtree City that resulted in the homeowner being shot in the head as she tried to run away.
A Fayette County jury found Ted Andrew Jefferson, 29, guilty of two counts of armed robbery, two counts of aggravated assault and one count each of kidnapping with bodily injury, burglary and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime. Superior Court Judge Tommy Hankinson delayed sentencing until mid-April at the request of the defendant.
Prosecutors used text messages from Jefferson’s cellphone to secure the conviction, claiming that the slang he used indicated he was planning the July 13, 2012 heist that was attempted at CeCe Coffee’s home on Woodland Drive. Coffee and a male victim who were inside the home were attacked by two men, one of whom beat Mrs. Coffee prior to her getaway attempt.
Jefferson’s attorney told the jury his client wasn’t even at the crime scene, but instead another co-defendant drove Jefferson’s car there to commit the crimes as he remained at Big Daddy’s Oyster Bar in Peachtree City.
Assistant District Attorney Ben Thomsen said that Jefferson planned to steal inheritance money from the resident of a basement apartment at Coffee’s house to pay off a debt he owed to a drug dealer.
Jefferson’s cousin, Gilbert Jefferson, was a co-defendant in the case and entered a guilty plea last week in the middle of his trial. Gilbert Jefferson was sentenced to 10 years in prison and was ordered to testify truthfully against Ted Jefferson.
Following his plea last week, Gilbert Jefferson changed from his initial story of innocence to admitting that he and Ted stormed into Coffee’s home. Gilbert Jefferson said while he initially carried a shotgun into the residence, his cousin Ted Jefferson would grab the gun from him at one point. Gilbert Jefferson continued it was Ted Jefferson who fired the shot that struck Coffee as she attempted to run away from the scene.
Another co-defendant also factored into the case: Chris Falkner, whom prosecutors painted as the drug dealer to whom Ted Jefferson owed money. Falkner pled guilty last year and got a 10-year probation sentence with no prison time.
Defense attorney Rodney A. Williams contended that Falkner was the one who executed the crime and pushed blame off on Ted Jefferson instead.
Along with being betrayed by his own cellphone, prosecutors also entered into evidence the cellphones of the two victims, which they contended were thrown out the window of Ted Jefferson’s truck as he and his cousin left Peachtree City following the crime. Police detectives located the phones in a grassy area off Ga. Highway 74 north of Dogwood Trail, officials said.
No fingerprints could be recovered from the devices, but prosecutors had testimony from Gilbert Jefferson who contended that Ted Jefferson threw some items out the window of the vehicle as they left the city following the incident.
The case was prosecuted by Fayette County Assistant District Attorney Ben Thomsen.