Life in prison for murder after apparent botched drug deal

Published: Friday, April 5, 2013 at 12:50 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, April 5, 2013 at 12:50 p.m.

A judge on Thursday sentenced a Gainesville man found guilty in March of first-degree murder to life in prison.

Jonathan Rashad Peterson, 26, must serve a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison on the murder charge. He also received a 15-year sentence, with a mandatory minimum of three years, on a charge of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, said Darry Lloyd, investigator for the State Attorney's Office

Peterson on March 5 was found guilty by a jury for the Aug. 23 death of Eugene Shelton, 26, of Gainesville, in what authorities say was a drug deal gone bad.

Peterson was arrested in August and charged with murder and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

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 said 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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