Cartersville man found not guilty of murder in 86-year-old’s beating death

Originally charged with more than a dozen counts related to the deadly home invasion, Jason Eldridge was convicted of seven felonies but was found not guilty of murder.

Credit: File photo

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Originally charged with more than a dozen counts related to the deadly home invasion, Jason Eldridge was convicted of seven felonies but was found not guilty of murder.

Credit: File photo

Defendant convicted on multiple other felony charges

A Bartow County man was found not guilty of murder in a home invasion and assault that left an 86-year-old man dead last year, but he was convicted on multiple other felony counts.

Jason Monroe Eldridge, 43, of Cartersville, faced a long list of charges after he was accused of breaking into the older man’s house and beating him to death in May 2020, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported. Eldridge was shot multiple times by the neighbors of 86-year-old Calvin Lee as they attempted to defend the octogenarian.

ExploreCartersville man charged in beating death of 86-year-old during home invasion

Both Eldridge and Lee were taken to the hospital after being seriously injured during the incident, the AJC reported. Eldridge was booked into the Bartow County Jail after he was released, but Lee died from his wounds.

Eldridge was originally charged with more than a dozen counts related to the incident, including murder, online jail records show. On Friday, he was found not guilty of murder and three other felony counts.

Eldridge was convicted, jail records show, of aggravated assault, burglary, criminal attempt to commit a felony, criminal damage to property, and two counts of making terroristic threats or acts — all felonies. He was also found guilty of one misdemeanor count of battery. On Tuesday, Eldridge’s final two misdemeanor counts, criminal trespass and battery against a person age 65 or older, were dismissed.

At the time of the incident, authorities said Lee and Eldridge knew of each other and the attack was not random. Eldridge entered Lee’s home in an attempted burglary and beat the 86-year-old with a board, Bartow deputies said. Lee’s neighbors rushed to his aid after hearing the fight and shot Eldridge when he turned his attack toward them, the AJC reported.

Lee’s neighbors did not face any charges and were not identified by authorities.