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Testimony continues in murder trial

LAWRENCEVILLE - On the night of Sept. 3, 2005, Hector Lopez testified, he was installing a satellite dish when a man approached him, pointed a revolver at his face and told him to get on his knees while two others lifted his wallet and cell phone.

Lopez did not identify that man in court, but Aaron "Lil A" Wright's co-defendants, one by one, did.

It was Wright, they said, who used a pistol to rob Lopez and shoot Jose Anibal Nunez-Maldonado, 29, moments later. Nunez-Maldonado, robbed of his wallet and some jewelry, died 10 days later.

Wright is charged with murder, felony murder, weapons possession and two counts of armed robbery. His co-defendants - Mario Price and brothers Dwight and Leon Crosdale - have pleaded guilty and are each serving prison sentences of more than 15 years.

Price took the stand Wednesday, while the Crosdales testified Thursday as to their roles in the incident. Dwight Crosdale denied having any knowledge of what was going on. As far as he knew, Dwight said, he was using his mother's blue van to take his brother, Price and Wright to an apartment complex to hang out with friends. He had nothing to do with whatever robbing and killing took place between the time he dropped them off and picked them back up, he said.

Leon Crosdale admitted to participating in the planning and execution of the robberies, but said he never intended for anyone to get shot.

"I was just gonna snatch one of 'em up," Leon said when asked about his intent. "... go in their pockets."

After robbing Lopez, Leon said, the trio made its way to nearby Westwood Apartments on Norcross-Tucker Road, where the men encountered Nunez-Maldonado near a wooded trail.

It was Wright who asked Nunez-Maldonado for a cigarette, Crosdale said, and who pulled a gun and gave chase when Nunez-Maldonado started running.

"Lil A chased him behind a building," Crosdale said. "I heard a gunshot."

Crosdale said he returned to the van but decided to go look for Wright instead of leaving. When he found the men, he said, Nunez-Maldonado was on the ground bleeding and Wright was going through his pockets. Price, Crosdale said, was taking rings off of the dying man's fingers.

Prosecutors said the jewelry was later pawned for $20.

According to authorities, a stolen debit card eventually tied the men to the crimes. A friend of Price, police said, used the card multiple times before making the mistake of using it in conjunction with his Kroger Plus card.

As his accomplices charged racks of ribs to the stolen card, Leon Crosdale filled out a job application at a local grocery store.

Testimony is scheduled to resume at 9 a.m. today.