An NBA draft prospect, who had been the leading scorer on Tulane University’s basketball team, has been charged in connection with a murder in Georgia earlier in April, but his lawyer says he is innocent.
Teshaun Hightower, a junior guard for the school, was taken into custody Saturday and charged with felony murder, aggravated assault, felony firearm possession, and battery linked to the April 8 shooting death of 24-year-old man, Devante Anthony Long, in Stockbridge, Georgia, ESPN reports.
According to a post on the Henry County Police Department’s Facebook page, Hightower was one of six individuals suspected in the homicide including his brother, Jeffrey.
However, an attorney representing the basketball player says that the brother was the one who fired the weapon that killed the victim and did so in his own defense.
"He's innocent. He didn't shoot anybody," said Averick Walker, Hightower’s Atlanta-based lawyer. "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."
Walker also noted that under Georgia law, those arrested had the right to self-defense.
"These people have a right to stand your ground," Walker said. "If somebody threatens you with a weapon, you have a right to stand your ground. The victim was called outside by his girlfriend, and he came out with a gun in his hand."
Henry County police say five of the six suspects were in custody on Monday and one still has not been arrested.
After Hightower was arrested, Tulane announced he had been cut from the team.
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