DECATUR, Ga. (FOX 5 Atlanta) - A DeKalb County jury took less than an hour to convict a burglar who shot and killed an East Atlanta man who surprised him when he returned to his apartment during a lunch break.
The jury returned guilty verdicts Tuesday against 38-year-old Jeffries Scott Anderson on charges of murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, burglary in the first degree, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.
DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Clarence Seelinger sentenced Anderson to life without the possibility of parole, plus 30 years for the 2016 shooting death of 30-year-old Jonathan Alexander Newton.
The shooting happened on Oct. 31, 2016 inside of Newton’s apartment located in the 1200 block of Metropolitan Avenue in the DeKalb County jurisdiction of Atlanta.
Newton and a co-worker, who lived in the same complex, had just returned home for a brief lunch break when the victim noticed his apartment door had been kicked in.
Prosecutors said Newton rushed into his unit and saw Anderson burglarizing his home.
According to testimony, the victim saw Anderson standing with his weapon. The victim told his friend, now standing at the doorway, to run away. As he did, the friend heard multiple gunshots. One of those bullets pierced the victim’s heart, fatally wounding him. Defendant Anderson fled the scene.
Surveillance video captured a man fitting Anderson’s description wearing a black knit cap casing the apartment complex prior to the crime and later leaving the scene without the cap.
When questioned by detectives, Anderson claimed he was out of town at the time of the shooting and could not have committed the murder.
According to prosecutors, crime scene technicians recovered a black knit cap at the scene of the crime next to the victim’s body that tested positive for Anderson’s DNA.
Senior DeKalb County Assistant District Attorney Shannon Hodder, assigned to the Major Felony Unit, prosecuted the case with assistance from ADA Tauri Thomas and DA Investigator C.D. Smith. Atlanta Police Detective Kyle Kleinhenz led the initial investigation.