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Posted: Saturday, May 26th 2012 at 11:42pm

Cornelia man charged in death of girlfriend

By Rob Moore
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CLARKESVILLE – A Cornelia man is being held in the Habersham County Detention Center, charged in connection with the shooting death of his girlfriend late Friday night.

Habersham County Sheriff Joey Terrell identified the man charged as Jeremy Shane Helton.

“Right now he’s charged with murder and possession of a stolen firearm,” Terrell said.

The incident occurred around 11 p.m. Friday at a home on Mason Avenue near Cornelia. Helen Ledford Ash, 31, of Cornelia died as a result of the gunshot wound.

Asked about the circumstances at the time of the incident, Terrell said, “They were laying in bed playing videogames … he reached over to move the gun or grabbed the gun and it went off. That’s the story. The gun was stolen out of Banks County.”

“Everything sounds like it’s accidental,” Terrell said. “They went ahead and booked him on the murder charge, per the GBI.”

Investigators are continuing to examine the circumstances of Friday night’s incident, as well as looking into the suspect’s history.

Sgt. Richard Stein, commander of the Habersham County Sheriff’s Office Domestic Violence Unit, said the case remains under investigation.

“I know there were children in the house when it happened,” Terrell said. “Evidently, they were in the bed.”

Stein noted that the Habersham County Department of Family and Children Services responded to the scene to assist Friday night, placing the children with other family members.

He praised the teamwork of the sheriff’s office, GBI, Mountain Judicial Circuit District Attorney Brian Rickman’s office, the Habersham County Coroner’s Office, and DFCS.

Results of the autopsy conducted by the GBI at the State Crime Lab in Decatur are pending.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the McGahee-Griffin & Stewart Funeral Home Chapel, with burial to follow in Yonah Memorial Gardens in Demorest.
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