College hoops star charged in Stockbridge homicide denied bond

Georgia guard Teshaun Hightower (1) drives against Georgia Tech guard Michael Devoe (0) in the second half at Georgia Tech's McCamish Pavilion on Saturday, December 22, 2018. Georgia won 70-59 over the Georgia Tech. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Teshaun Hightower, the former high school basketball standout who flourished at Tulane University after transferring from UGA, was denied bond Wednesday in a Henry County courtroom.

Hightower, 22, is facing a murder charge for his role in an April 8 shooting at a Stockbridge apartment complex. His brother, Jeffrey Hightower, also faces a murder charge, along with four other men, for the death of Devontae Long.

Henry Superior Court Judge Holly W. Veal ordered that the Hightowers remain in jail, calling them dangers to the community.

Teshaun Hightower

Hightower, who declared for the 2020 NBA Draft 10 days after the shooting, and his friends had confronted Long after he allegedly pistol whipped Tareek Farmer, one of the suspects charged in the shooting. Police say Long’s girlfriend identified the former Collins Hill High School standout as the shooter.

“(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.”

Long later died at an area hospital.

Averick Walker, who represents the Hightower brothers, said it was Jeffrey, not Teshaun, who shot Long. And he did so to protect Teshaun after spotting the victim coming out of his apartment with a gun aimed at his brother, Walker said

“He’s innocent. He didn’t shoot anybody,” he said. "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.

The case is pending indictment once grand jury proceedings, suspended due to COVID-19, resume. Hightower was dismissed from Tulane’s basketball team immediately after his late April arrest.

He was the Green Wave’s leading scorer for the 2019-20 season.

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