Ex-Laney star pleads guilty to reduced charge

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A former standout high school football player decided to plead guilty to a reduced charge instead of facing another jury.

A Richmond County Superior Court jury announced Wednesday that it had deadlocked at 6-6 on Timothy Wright's role in an April 2006 robbery.

Mr. Wright, 21, could have proceeded with a retrial on armed robbery and other charges. But if a jury convicted him as charged, he would face at least a decade in prison without the possibility of parole and as much as life behind bars.

The plea negotiation, if accepted by Judge Carl C. Brown Jr., means Mr. Wright will plead guilty to robbery, a charge punishable by one to 20 years. Unlike armed robbery, there is no mandatory minimum prison sentence, and if the judge imposes a prison sentence he would be eligible for parole.

No sentencing date has been set.

Mr. Wright, then a junior at Lucy C. Laney High School, was working at Burger King on a night when two classmates -- Johnny Overstreet and Kenneth Walker -- robbed it.

"This is a good kid," defense attorney Jacque Hawk said of Mr. Wright.

The student played football, worked 40 hours a week and gave part of his earnings to his mother, according to trial testimony. Mr. Wright was too busy to get into trouble, Mr. Hawk said.

Mr. Overstreet and Mr. Walker, who had robbed several restaurants, didn't need Mr. Wright's help, his attorney argued in closing.

But Assistant District Attorney Adam King countered that Mr. Wright was the enabler and that, according to Mr. Walker's statement to police, he was an enthusiastic participant. Mr. Wright loaned his car to his two friends, and he opened the back door to let them in that night, Mr. King told the jury.

"This is a tragic story for everyone involved. But try as I might, I can't shed a tear for this man -- he is not the victim. He's not the one who thought he was going to die that night," Mr. King said.

The real victims were Mr. Wright's co-workers, who were confronted by two masked men threatening them with a gun and a 12-inch knife, Mr. King said.

Mr. Overstreet is serving life in prison. Mr. Walker is serving a 20-year prison sentence to be followed by 15 years on probation.

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

Comments (26) Add comment
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WhiskyDick
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WhiskyDick 10/02/08 - 03:27 am
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Had Wright not played

Had Wright not played football, would Sandy Hodson and the Chronicle published this piece as a feature story or would it have been four sentences in "Around The Area?" Apparently Overstreet and Walker didn't make the team - they're portrayed as criminals while Wright is "...is a good kid."

Just My Opinion
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Just My Opinion 10/02/08 - 03:38 am
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Just because your defense

Just because your defense attorney says you're a good kid, doesn't make it so. Of course the attorney is going to say that...he's trying to get the kid off! I can't see how this kid wasn't involved, so he should be punished. And the kid knows it, that's why he went ahead and pleaded guilty so his sentence would be lessened. I say throw the book at him because he'll end up doing something like this again, and the next time it'll be one of us who he points a gun at. Now, wouldn't it be ironic if he did it again in the future and he ended up robbing his own defense attorney??

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 10/02/08 - 05:09 am
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He opened the locked door and

He opened the locked door and loaned his car to the robbers with weapons? I'm guessing the 6-6 decision had nothing to do with a 6-6 jury.

pofwe
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pofwe 10/02/08 - 06:43 am
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You're right Just opinion.

You're right Just opinion. This "football player," has beaten the system and he will be back for an encore.

D.B.
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D.B. 10/02/08 - 07:01 am
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just my opinion why didn't

just my opinion why didn't they threw the book at that doctor that kill that teenager on riverparkway some time back. you guys are looking threw rose color lenses.that kid made a mistake he desire to be punish and he also desires to become a productive person once he completes his time.i have seen so many more crimes that deserve front page but and i mean but they are tucked away in very small words in the metro. that is the real crime here

lifelongresidient
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lifelongresidient 10/02/08 - 07:02 am
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perfect textbook example of

perfect textbook example of the lack of education, with a greater emphasis placed on sports than education, my question to all is "where did his athleticism get him???" working at burger king, since he was a "standout" or in other words "a very good athelete" why did he not get a football scholarship to play at a college or university??? the answer to that question is i guess he didn't feel the need to study, hence working at burger king with little if any educational backround necessary to go any further. he was used in the sense of there was little emphasis in the home for academics and the same can be said for school, just allow him to do just enuff to remain eligible even to the point of giving him a passing grade even though he didn't deserve it. i am not blaming society, because it is not society's fault, it is the fault of the parents and the boe for their lack of emphasising education. just look at the school from which he "GRADUATED" the school with the lowest graduation rates, poor performance regarding ayp, but what is the outcome, a brand new stadium, while one of the best schools taught out of trailers and not enuff textbooks or school supplies for students

iletuknow
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iletuknow 10/02/08 - 07:02 am
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At Laney,everyone thinks they

At Laney,everyone thinks they are a "star".

InChristLove
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InChristLove 10/02/08 - 07:06 am
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Let's hope this young man has

Let's hope this young man has learned from his mistake and gets his life straightened out. He is guilty and should serve some time but maybe he is a good kid and just got caught up in the wrong crowd. People make mistakes but people can change. He will pay for his mistake and PT your comment about jury selection was uncalled for.

InChristLove
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InChristLove 10/02/08 - 07:11 am
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jisomjr, this young man was a

jisomjr, this young man was a junior in high school when the robbery took place. He was working at Burger King while in High School. How do we know that this young man isn't enrolled in college now or attending a technical school.

wandasig97
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wandasig97 10/02/08 - 07:25 am
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JISOMJR all of the young men

JISOMJR all of the young men involved in this incident were all going to recieve schlorships to some of the best school but because if this they could not get the schlorship but i do some what agree with what you're saying such a sad story one day our youth will eventually get the bigger picture and wise up to realize that for every action there is a reaction

changedisplayname
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changedisplayname 10/02/08 - 07:28 am
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InChrist, I agree with almost

InChrist, I agree with almost all of your statement but the end. We know he is not in college or Tech school now because he is sitting in the courtroom awaiting sentencing and has probably been in jail this whole time since his arrest.
DB there is a difference in an accident involving a car and someone robbing you with a gun and a knife while you working that I hope you never have to experience.

I4PUTT
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I4PUTT 10/02/08 - 08:11 am
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Why isn't this a death

Why isn't this a death penalty case?

rufus
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rufus 10/02/08 - 08:22 am
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Gubmint edumacation.

Gubmint edumacation.

KingJames
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KingJames 10/02/08 - 08:24 am
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Well at least now people can

Well at least now people can stop looking at his mugshot that was printed a couple of days ago and saying he looks guilty. Now, by his own admission, we can now say that Wright is guilty. I think he got caught up with the wrong crowd and now has to learn a hard lesson about consequences and reprecussions. I don't think this is a case of bad parenting or miseducation. Wright just did a dumb thing. Until the robbery he was doing what most parents want their kids to do (school, sports, and working). His mom was probably very proud of her son, until that night. To say that she and the BOE failed this young man is crazy. Even the best of our youth will do things that are unbecoming from time to time. No parent, no matter how effective and nurturing they are, should ever put anything past their child. Many parents have had their hearts broken and lives devasted by the children they loved and cherished. Give the mom a break. She's been through enough.

kai@reasontostand.org
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kai@reasontostand.org 10/02/08 - 08:26 am
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"This is a good kid," Good

"This is a good kid," Good kids don't assist in a robbery.

rufus
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rufus 10/02/08 - 09:21 am
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My post was speculation

My post was speculation regarding DB's educational background

HYPOCRITES 08
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HYPOCRITES 08 10/02/08 - 10:01 am
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I guess PT ASSumed the make

I guess PT ASSumed the make up of the jury members. I did not see that information.

Georgiais1
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Georgiais1 10/02/08 - 10:51 am
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Must of been some idiots on

Must of been some idiots on the jury to have a deadlock and this thug ends up pleading guilty anyway. Now who was wrong and who was right on the jury? I bet I know the reason that those ones on the jury voted not guilty and you do too. It's all about sticking together for some folks.

HYPOCRITES 08
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HYPOCRITES 08 10/02/08 - 11:07 am
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Yeah, I wonder which was

Yeah, I wonder which was which?

Sharky
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Sharky 10/02/08 - 11:32 am
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Did you ever stop to think

Did you ever stop to think that maybe the jury heard more evidence than the paper is reporting? We should just do away with the criminal justice system and kill everyone who MAY commit a crime.............yeah, that sounds good...........geesh

KingJames
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KingJames 10/02/08 - 12:00 pm
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Sharky, these people are

Sharky, these people are always ready to cast the first stone. The sad part is that they truly believe that they are somehow protecting others and their tax money from the criminal element. They don't realize that some of their comments make them sound like a mob, and mobs are no better than those they would persecute because they are filled with irrational people.

mable8
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mable8 10/02/08 - 01:54 pm
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It is getting tiresome to see

It is getting tiresome to see that those involved in sports and ranked as a "star," get away with murder. If he was a "good kid," then why did he assist the two who did the actual robbery? I don't see any sympathy in the posts for the victims in this case. He should get at least 10 years without parole and then 15 years probation. While in prison, he should get his education and learn from his mistakes. Young people who were not athletes in school get the book thrown at them; I see this young man as being no different.

GnipGnop
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GnipGnop 10/02/08 - 02:32 pm
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If you weren't on the jury to

If you weren't on the jury to hear all the evidence then you don't know what happened. Sometimes a defendant will plead guilty to a lesser charge rather than face 20 years in prison. I hope nobody here ever has a family member accused of a crime. Some of you people would march Jesus Christ to the gallows by what's written in an AC article.

KingJames
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KingJames 10/02/08 - 02:45 pm
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Wyldsfam4 is correct again.

Wyldsfam4 is correct again. The public will obviously never know exactly what happened in court if it is depending on the whole truth and nothing but the truth coming from the AC. That's why I never pass judgement on anyone featured in the AC. More than likely, something that they didn't print on one day will be printed the next. It's almost like a halfway intelligent person has to piece everything together himself before they can draw their own conclusion about what may have really happened. I try to limit myself to comments about what I see in a story or what was reported in previous days. Too bad everyone else is always ready for a conviction and then the death penalty all within 2 days

lifelongresidient
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lifelongresidient 10/02/08 - 04:37 pm
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dear in, if he was in school

dear in, if he was in school wouldn't his lawyer would have mentioned it to gain sympathy from the jury??? since he was a standout "football" player shouldn't he have a scholarship???? as a former athelete that was offered a scholarship it would seem logical that he would be playing football even at the div 2 or 3 level. because he was in high school does not excuse his involvement in the crime, sympathy should be given to the real victims of this robbery not the thug who decided to conspire with his "friends" to commit the crime. to the others who are making excuses as to his guilt or innocence, to plead guilty would mean he had something to do with the robbery, would you or anyone plead guilty to something you haven't done. this is a result of this individual making poor choices in his friends, or his decsion like many other youths who choose to work and go to school and do things the right way instead of preying on those who are willing to work hard an be a productive member of society

critter
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critter 10/03/08 - 05:02 pm
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Tim made a horrible decision,

Tim made a horrible decision, but I taught him at Laney and he really was a kid who was trying to make it with his talent, for his Mom, and for himself. It broke my heart to hear that he was involved in this, but the pressure from the "hood" that "looks after" each other can be crushing. The Walker boys are a formidable group.Tim would have had a scholarship had he finished playing his junior and senior year. He was being highly scouted. Tim will learn his lesson the hard way, but he will learn. God bless, Tim, and thank God He forgives a lot faster and more sure than most of these folks on this website.

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