When Justin Wingate left his godfather’s house a year ago, he had thousands of dollars in cash and told his friends, “I did what I had to do.”
Handcuffed and dressed in an orange Bibb County jail jumpsuit, 19-year-old Shantia J. Horton, of Decatur, testified Wednesday that Wingate had asked her to drive him to Macon to get money from his godfather’s house, and her understanding was that the godfather, Wilkins, would not be home.
Horton said she was in the car when Wingate counted out a large amount of money and handed cash to her boyfriend, 20-year-old Tavion Simms, as well as 19-year-old Adrian Jamar Sparrow. He gave her $3,000 in $100 bills.
She said she didn’t ask questions about the money and didn’t know that 58-year-old Michael Wilkins was dead until days later.
Jurors deliberated for about an hour Wednesday before finding Wingate, 20, guilty of murder and armed robbery in Wilkins’ Jan. 23, 2010, shooting death, said prosecutor Nancy Scott Malcor. Wingate, of Dekalb County, will be sentenced Thursday.
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