Alleged Midtown Shooter Pleads Not Guilty
Nkosi Thandiwe was formally arraigned Wednesday on charges including murder.
A former security guard today pleaded not guilty to murder and other charges in the July 15 triple shooting that killed one woman and injured two others in Midtown.
Nkosi Thandiwe, who entered his plea in Fulton County Superior Court Wednesday, is charged with murder, felony murder, armed robbery, three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated battery, hijacking a motor vehicle and gun possession during the commission of a felony.
Prosecutors are seeking a life sentence without the possibility of parole.
Thandiwe was indicted Sept. 30. On Wednesday, the 22-year-old had a new lawyer by his side: John Garland of Garland, Sameul & Loeb. Garland declined comment.
The earliest the case could go to trial is late 2012, Superior Court Judge Kelly Amanda Lee said, explaining she has nine murder cases to try before Thandiwe's.
Several family members of Brittney Watts, the 26-year-old Decatur woman who was shot and killed during the incident, attended the court hearing. Many carried cards with a picture of Watts and words written in her memory.
"I just wanted to come and see what happened," Watts' uncle Ken Owens told Patch following the hearing. Owens said the family expected Thandiwe to enter a "not guilty" plea. "We have to let it take its due course."
Lee ordered Thandiwe to undergo a mental evaluation on Dec. 1.
Thandiwe was working as a security guard at the Proscenium building when he allegedly shot and killed Watts in the building's parking garage in July. Police say he fled the garage in her car, shooting two other women as he exited onto Crescent Avenue.
The shooting left Lauren Garcia with spinal cord injuries. She was released from the Shepherd Center in September.
Another victim, Tiffany Ferenczy, was shot in the leg.
All three women worked at the Proscenium building.