An attorney for former Tulane basketball player Teshaun Hightower says that his client didn’t pull the trigger in the homicide that has him facing a murder charge in Georgia.
Averick Walker told ESPN on Monday that Hightower’s brother Jefferey was the shooter and allegedly did so in self-defense.
Walker’s account conflicts with that of an arrest warrant that accuses Teshaun of fatally shooting 24-year-old Devontae Long at a Stockbridge, Georgia, apartment complex on April 8.
What police claim
Teshaun was arrested on Saturday and faces charges of felony murder, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and battery. According to police records, he is one of six men who confronted Long at the apartment complex.
The warrant cites Long’s girlfriend as a witness in identifying Teshaun, per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“[The woman] said Teshaun pulled out a turquoise and black handgun out of his pocket,” the warrant states. “[She] ran into the apartment and hid behind the wall next to the door.”
Walker characterizes the arrest and charges as the acts of an overzealous detective.
“He’s innocent,” Walker told ESPN. “He didn’t shoot anybody. It’s sad that this detective sought to make him out to be a monster, and he’s not. When it’s all said and done, it will come out in the wash that the person who did fire the gun shot the gun to protect Teshaun.
“Teshaun’s brother actually fired the weapon and fired in self-defense. The victim came out of the house with a gun in his hand and turned his weapon toward Teshaun to shoot him. That’s why the victim was shot himself.”
What led up to the shooting?
According to the AJC, investigators say the conflict started with a fistfight inside an apartment between Long and Tyreek Farmer, one of the six suspects accused of confronting Long. Farmer claims that Long pistol-whipped him, and he called on his friends for backup.
That’s when police say that Teshaun arrived with five others, including his brother, and shot Long.
Both Teshaun and Jefferey were being held without bond at the Henry County Jail on Monday, according to ESPN.
Five suspects detained
Henry County police sought all six men suspected of being involved in the confrontation.
According to jail records obtained by ESPN, five of the six men were in custody on Monday.
Teshaun, 22, played two seasons at the University of Georgia before transferring to Tulane in 2019. The 6-foot-5 guard led the Green Wave in scoring, while averaging 15.9 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game.
Tulane announced his dismissal from the team on Sunday after news of his arrest broke.
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