Former football standout on trial

A former high school football star will contend at his trial this week that he was a victim, not a participant, in a 2006 robbery of the restaurant where he worked.

Timothy Wright, 21, has pleaded not guilty in Richmond County Superior Court to armed robbery and other charges. Testimony continues this morning.

Mr. Wright was one of six young men arrested in the spring of 2006. Like Mr. Wright, three others were standout football players at Lucy C. Laney High School.

Mr. Wright, then a junior, worked part-time at the Burger King at 1601 Gordon Highway.

A few minutes after the midnight closing on April 14, 2006, two masked men entered through the back door that Mr. Wright and another employee opened to take out trash.

Brian Haggard, the assistant manager, testified he was counting money at the cash register when he heard someone say "get down on the floor." He turned and saw a masked man with a gun. He thought it was an employee joking around until the assailant put the gun to his head and repeated the command, Mr. Haggard testified.

The second robber, armed with a knife, then forced him to the office safe.

Mr. Haggard and Mr. Wright's other co-workers that night became suspicious of Mr. Wright after the robbery. He was on his cell phone at closing time, repeatedly looked through the windows and volunteered to help take the trash out the back door.

Mr. Wright was only charged in connection with the Burger King robbery. Others arrested faced charges for several robberies.

Johnny Overstreet is serving life in prison for his role in the robberies. Marquise D. Taylor is serving a 12-year prison term to be followed by 15 years on probation. Derrick S. Garrett is serving a 15-year prison sentence to be followed by 15 years on probation. And Kenneth L. Walker is serving a 20-year prison sentence to be followed by 15 years on probation. Charges against Reginald Rouse, who has pleaded not guilty, are pending.

Reach Sandy Hodson at (706) 823-3226 or sandy.hodson@augustachronicle.com.