Atlanta man found guilty in East Lake home invasion

Atlanta man found guilty in East Lake home invasion

September 24th, 2011 by Kate Harrison Belz in News

Frederick Anderson, right, listens in Judge Barry Steelman's courtroom Thursday.

Photo by Kate Harrison Belz/Times Free Press.

An Atlanta man accused of beating and robbing members of an East Lake family in 2010 could face between 25 and 40 years behind bars after a jury found him guilty on all nine felony charges Friday.

During the two-week trial, members of the family testified that Frederick Anderson, 46, forced himself into their home June 22, 2010, demanding money and pistol-whipping several people - including an 11-year-old boy.

Twice, the prosecution played a recording of a 911 call by the panicked 11-year-old. The child told the operator a "big black man" had put a gun to his mother's head. The call is interrupted as the assailant breaks into the room, attacks the boy and demands money.

As the recording played, Anderson's mother - who had come up from Atlanta - shook her head and put her hands to her eyes. Anderson's wife and father sat in the courtroom, looking at the floor.

Anderson's defense attorney repeatedly argued that Anderson had been in the wrong place at the wrong time, that he was a "family man" with no reason to commit a crime in Chattanooga.

But prosecutors had insisted the evidence was watertight: Anderson was found shortly after the robbery in an abandoned house where police also found duct tape similar to the type used to bind the family, and two of the family's phones.

"I'm pleased with the verdict," said Assistant District Attorney Lance Pope, who prosecuted the case with Assistant District Attorney Brett Alexander. "I think the jury had a difficult time with the case. It was long, and there was a lot of evidence to analyze."

Ten witnesses testified for the state and two witnesses for the defense.

Assistant district public defenders Mary Ann Green and Sharetta Smith could not be reached for comment Friday.

Two of the gun charges require mandatory consecutive sentences of six to 10 years in prison.

Anderson is due for sentencing in December.