Gainesville man convicted in August murder

Published: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 11:15 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 11:15 a.m.

A Gainesville man was found guilty of first-degree murder Tuesday night in what authorities said was a drug deal gone bad.

A jury found Jonathan Rashad Peterson, 26, of 2510 NE Ninth St., Apt. 710, guilty after deliberating about four hours, Assistant State Attorney Adam Urra said.

"It was really good work by the Gainesville Police Department and Detective Bennie Smith," Urra said in attributing success in the case. "There were a lot of leads to run down."

Peterson is scheduled to be sentenced March 15 and faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison, Urra said.

Peterson was arrested in August and charged with murder and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in the death of Eugene Shelton, 26, of Gainesville.

Also arrested in the case was Adrick Williams, 28, of Gainesville, on a charge of accessory to murder.

Shelton was shot in the chest around 8:30 p.m. on Aug. 23, between Buildings 12 and 13 at Rocky Point apartments, 3100 SW 35th Place, after he went to the complex as part of an apparent drug deal, police say.

According to GPD arrest reports, Williams loaned his cellphone to Peterson because Peterson said he needed to "make a play." Witnesses said they heard Shelton and Peterson arrange a meeting.

Peterson told Williams he killed Shelton, according to reports, and Peterson showed Williams marijuana he took from Shelton. Authorities say Williams said he called his cellphone carrier and changed his number in an unsuccessful attempt to keep police from linking him to the homicide.

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