Murder charge filed in 2012 Sumter Co. home invasion

cwinston@thestate.comFebruary 27, 2014 

Jerry Ernest Ballard

— A 31-year-old Charleston man already in jail was charged Thursday with murder in a 2012 home invasion.

Jerry Ernest Ballard is also charged with first-degree robbery, armed robbery and possession of a weapon during a violent crime, according to the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office.

According to Lt. Robert Burnish with the Sheriff’s Office, deputies responded to a home invasion in May 2012 after a suspect kicked open the front door to a McLeary Lane home, displayed a handgun and demanded money. The suspect took a quantity of money and drugs and then shot the 28-year-old homeowner, Antonio Lavaughn Dixon.

Dixon died from the gunshot wound before medical personnel arrived.

Earlier this month, investiagtors were told that Ballard came to Sumter and attempted to rob Dixon. Ballard was later arrested on unrelated robbery charges. The gun he had with him was used in the Dixon shooting, according to a Sheriff’s Office press release.

Investigators met Ballard in jail on Thursday and served the warrants on him.

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