published Friday, February 15th, 2013

Frederick Anderson sentenced to 60 years in 2010 home invasion

  • photo
    Frederick Anderson is seated on the right with defense attorney Donna Miller.
    Photo by Todd South /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

If Frederick Anderson lives to see 100, he'll still have seven years left on his prison sentence.

The 47-year-old Atlanta man was sentenced to 60 years for his role in a June 2010 home invasion robbery in which prosecutors say he pistol-whipped children and duct-taped residents.

Anderson says he is innocent and did not receive a fair trial. In a handwritten note shared through his lawyer, Donna Miller, he claims key evidence was excluded and he will be back on an appeal.

But Criminal Court Judge Barry Steelman found "overwhelming" evidence and a lengthy criminal history enough reason to sentence Anderson to consecutive prison terms on his nine convictions.

A jury convicted Anderson of especially aggravated kidnapping, aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary and related weapons charges.

He has a criminal history that begins with a 1986 car theft and includes a forgery conviction in 2009 and drug convictions in between.

That history, coupled with Anderson not presenting any mitigating testimony or evidence, contributed to the tougher sentences.

Anderson told the probation officer who interviewed him for his presentence report, which helps the judge determine sentencing, that the whole procedure was "nonsense."

Steelman responded to that comment in the Thursday hearing.

"No, this is justice, Mr. Anderson, this is justice," he said.

"Someone might say, well home invasion, it's very serious in nature but doesn't that seem like a long term of time when compared to other people in other crimes?" Steelman said.

"Some of those people don't have a criminal history that is similar to Mr. Anderson," Steelman said. "To a large extent [Anderson] has set himself up through his past choices, activities, for this day."

Prosecutors Lance Pope and Bret Alexander reminded the judge of Anderson's actions during the trial. He was taped in a jailhouse phone call "coaching" his wife, Stephanie Anderson, whose testimony he hoped would provide him with an alibi.

Three of the eight victims in the East Lake home invasion testified during the sentencing hearing.

Amanda Schmitt, who was 18 at the time, said she and her siblings still have trouble sleeping. She hasn't spent the night at her mother's home since the robbery.

Schmitt's brother Jacob and sister Lindsey, both 14, also testified.

When reached by phone after the hearing, Jacob Schmitt said of the sentence: "I think that was pretty good; he's going to be in there for life."

about Todd South...

Todd South covers courts, poverty, technology, military and veterans for the Times Free Press. He has worked at the paper since 2008 and previously covered crime and safety in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia. Todd’s hometown is Dodge City, Kan. He served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq before returning to school for his journalism degree from the University of Georgia. Todd previously worked at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. Contact ...

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