Everyone but the jury seemed surprised late Friday afternoon as Joshua Wright, one of three defendants in what has become known as the Fayetteville Craigslist Robbery case, was declared not guilty on two of the three Robbery charges dating to March 2014.
That third charge was declared a mistrial by Superior Court Judge Mack Crawford, because the jury foreman reported they were deadlocked on it.
Malik Miles and Armoni Strozier were the other two defendants in the case, and both are already serving time in custody after accepting plea deals. By all accounts, it was Miles and Strozier who took the lead in the robberies, even brandishing starter pistols during the robberies, while Wright maintained he withdrew from the first planned robbery and never really took part in the second or third.
That first robbery took place on the afternoon of March 18, 2014 when Wright, Miles and Strozier met at Wright’s house in a subdivision off White Road in Fayetteville, and then they jumped Wright’s backyard fence and entered the clubhouse parking lot in the Heritage Lake subdivision to meet their first victim. Wright admitted this week that he went with the other two over the fence, but he said he stayed back while the other two approached the victim and took his $300 meant to be used in purchasing an iPhone the teens had advertised on Craigslist.
Wright also admitted to taking his third of the proceeds of that robbery.
The next day, Wright used a family member’s car to drive Strozier and Miles to the clubhouse at nearby Brandon Mill subdivision, where they would rob two people: a daughter and her father. That incident accounted for Robbery counts two and three respectively.
Wright said he dropped his friends off and drove away, only happening to see them again in the area a bit later. He admits he drove them home after their robbery that day.
Jurors leaving the courthouse in the five o’clock hour Friday refused to speak to the media, though many of them hugged Wright and even defense attorney Jackie Patterson on their way out.
Wright said he was grateful for the second chance and said he will stay out of trouble moving forward.
Patterson, who tried the case with the assistance of co-council Brandon Dixon, said the jury knew his client was “falsely accused” and acted accordingly.
Check next week’s editions of Fayette County News and Today in Peachtree City for more on this story.