SLO man sentenced for stun gunning a homeless woman

January 31, 2013

jailA San Luis Obispo man received a prison sentence of 39-years to life for beating, biting, choking and shocking a 26-year-old homeless woman he believed to be a police informant. [Tribune]

Thomas Ledbetter, 49, thought the female victim snitched on a heroin dealer in Atascadero, court documents show. Ledbetter told others that he intended to kill the woman, whose name has not been released, but chose not to after hitting her, biting her on the cheek, choking her and shocking her six times with a stun gun.

On March 30, 2011, the woman went to Ledbetter’s South Street apartment to take a shower. Ledbetter saw two sheriff’s office business cards in the woman’s purse, and then began assaulting her. He asked a friend at the residence to strangle the woman, but the friend refused.

Witnesses later found the homeless woman walking through the San Luis Obispo neighborhood with cuts and bruising on her head, chest and arms.

Police arrested Ledbetter a week later when they found him walking through a cemetery on South Higuera Street with methamphetamine.

Ledbetter, nicknamed “Tennessee,” had prior convictions from Oklahoma and Tennessee that included robbery, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and assault with intent to commit rape. Ledbetter will serve his 39-years to life sentence for a conviction of assault with a deadly weapon resulting in great bodily injury.



  1. smartmouth says:

    Tennessee should be happy the cops found him before Cowboy did………….

    (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
  2. Zuma7 says:

    Whoa, what a history Mr. Ledbetter had. Seems like
    no one ever taught him any social skills.

    (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
  3. Ted Slanders says:

    As all TRUE Chrisians know, we’re to forgive and love Mr. Thomas Ledbetter, praise!

    “Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.” (Luke 17:3-4)

    This passage above clearly, and without question and any spin doctoring, stipulates that the unnamed woman, or if this act by Thomas Ledbetter was against any TRUE Christian, then they are to forgive him 7 times, I repeat, 7 times in a day. Thomas Ledbetter could beat this unnamed woman 7 times in one day, and it’s still okay with Jesus and God’s word relative to forgiving Mr. Ledbetter. Simple enough? Sure it is.

    Furthermore, Jesus said in the Good Samaritan narrative that we TRUE Christians are to love the Thomas Ledbetter’s of this world as ourselves. (Matthew 22:39)

    No TRUE Christian,I repeat, no TRUE Christian can usurp Jesus’ direct words of love and forgiveness above that relates to the nefarious criminal scum-bag element that Thomas Ledbetter represents. If they do, then they purport to know more than Jesus! Seriously, isn’t that a funny concept?!

    If one wants to call themselves a Christian, then they have to follow ALL of the bible’s doctrine as prescribed, in part, in the above passages, and not just the “goody-two-shoes” doctrine that is thrown about on Sunday mornings.

    (1) 27 Total Votes - 14 up - 13 down
    • inmyopinion says:

      I bet if this was your family member you may not be so forgiving. But I must say this is the biggest trough of pig slop I have heard you spew in a while. JMO

      (0) 24 Total Votes - 12 up - 12 down
      • Ted Slanders says:


        Are you calling the DIRECT word of God and Jesus, “pig slop?” Huh?

        Once again, I am just the messenger delivering the biblical passages relative to the story at hand. Don’t take it out on me, but rather take it out of Jesus and His Father! Get it? 2+2=4.

        Such insolence to Jesus and His Fathers word, how dare you?!

        (-2) 30 Total Votes - 14 up - 16 down
      • OnTheOtherHand says:

        Don’t feed the troll! It only encourages him.

        (-5) 7 Total Votes - 1 up - 6 down
        • inmyopinion says:

          Trust me, I wont loose any sleep over him. He sounds likd someone who doesnt get much attention. Have a great weekend. ;)

          (-4) 6 Total Votes - 1 up - 5 down
          • Ted Slanders says:


            What? You won’t loose any sleep even though you called God and Jesus’ word relative to this story “pig slop?” Really? It’s a given that you’re going to Hell upon your demise, because no Christian would even think about doing such an ungodly act!

            Being Jesus’ right-hand man, I have found over the years in my ministries, that those that say that others need attention, are in fact, the ones that are crying out for attention themselves. Therefore, I urge you to come to Jesus and join the flock so you too can exhibit the Christian logic that is shown in the passages above relating to Thomas Ledbetter.

            Won’t you join us, then you’ll get the attention that you need!

            (1) 7 Total Votes - 4 up - 3 down
    • R.Hodin says:

      If you read what you wrote you’d realize that the Miracle of Life named “Tennessee” has yet to repent once, so it’s pointless to suggest that the victim needs to forgive, once or seven or one hundred and seven times.

      (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
      • Ted Slanders says:


        You’ve got it turned around, it’s the TRUE Christian that is to forgive Mr. Ledbetter, as the enclosed scripture so dictates, and not that he is to forgive in any way. It’s Christian logic 101 that we’re burdened with, no matter how we feel upon the topic.

        It’s also called, following the ENTIRE bible, instead of cherry-picking the sugary passages.

        (2) 4 Total Votes - 3 up - 1 down
  4. womanwhohasbeenthere says:

    Let’s see – the assault took place in Ledbetter’s apartment (is that the public housing on South Street by the way?), she could obviously ID the guy, she had all the marks of the assault, and yet it took the SLO PD a WHOLE WEEK to find the guy and arrest him?

    (7) 15 Total Votes - 11 up - 4 down
  5. Niles Q says:

    Not that it makes any difference, but was she an informant?
    Or was she holding LE business cards for some other reason, like maybe they were trying to help her get homeless services?
    If she was an informant, I’d say the cops handling her didn’t do a very good job of protecting her.
    Otherwise, I’m glad this monster is off the streets.
    If there were witnesses why didn’t they stop this attack? They should face charges too.

    (9) 15 Total Votes - 12 up - 3 down
    • Stunned says:

      Are you thinking that part of the story will be on this page? Now THAT would be mishandling!

      (2) 4 Total Votes - 3 up - 1 down
    • Cindy says:

      It’s very dangerous for a young woman (or any woman) to be homeless and on the streets. I can think of any number of reasons why she had those LE business cards. I wouldn’t doubt that a couple of cops might have been concerned for her safety after finding her milling around and they gave her their cards in case she had any problems. I agree that who ever was there should have stopped the attack and maybe he did and that’s why she got away with her life. As for this meth head, I’m glad he got 39 years, it’s about time we lock these people who act like rabid animals up and throw away the key.

      (11) 17 Total Votes - 14 up - 3 down
      • Stunned says:

        That’s a great point Cindy. I think if she was snitching she sure wouldn’t be packing their cards around with her or for sure not laying them around for this low-life dealer to peek at.

        (5) 5 Total Votes - 5 up - 0 down
    • The Gimlet Eye says:

      Maybe they had no intention of “protecting her.” This smells.

      (-6) 6 Total Votes - 0 up - 6 down
  6. Jorge Estrada says:

    I think we need to interview these people and ask why came to San Luis Obispo. Are we recruiting them?

    (16) 24 Total Votes - 20 up - 4 down
    • The Gimlet Eye says:

      You may be getting dangerously close to the truth—-stop that!

      (1) 7 Total Votes - 4 up - 3 down

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