Lawyer: Break-in suspect admits stealing for family is wrong

Updated:

Paul Slater was shot by a Walton County homeowner when he allegedly broke into her home in January. He was recently released from the hospital and back in jail, facing several charges.

WALTON COUNTY, Ga. - A man shot multiple times during a home invasion in Walton County is set to go to trial next month.

Paul Ali Slater, 32, faced a judge on Tuesday. His defense attorney said Slater was prepared to plead guilty as part of a plea agreement, but the prosecution changed the terms of the deal.

"Negotiations broke down and that was changed this morning, which obviously changed what we were going to do," defense attorney Neal Ainsworth said.

He wouldn't elaborate but said the prosecution wanted a "substantially longer sentence." He did offer some insight into Slater's defense.

"He has six children and acknowledged that he shouldn't have been there, that breaking into people's houses to steal things to support your  family is inappropriate," Ainsworth said.

Investigators said Slater broke into a Loganville home on Henderson Drive in January and pursued the mother and two children inside. The mother shot Slater five times.

The defense attorney told Channel 2’s Kerry Kavanaugh his client admits to breaking into the home, but he disputes that Slater pursued the family. He said Slater thought no one was inside.

"I think he was quite surprised," Ainsworth said. "Evidence will come out on whether he really knew anybody was home or pursuing anybody."

Ainsworth added that Slater spent 30 days hospitalized and now has limited use of one of his hands.

Investigators said Slater pursued the mother and two children, breaking through three interior doors. The woman's husband was in court Tuesday and thanked all the investigators working the case. He declined to comment on the latest developments.

Online records show Slater was released from jail on battery charges in August, and he has been arrested six times since 2008.

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