BUFORD — The case against a cousin of star NFL receiver Roddy White moved a step closer to trial this week, when a Gwinnett grand jury found evidence the younger White and three friends orchestrated a violent home-invasion in May.
The grand jury indicted Ali Tyrek White, 21, and three alleged accomplices in a May 2 home-invasion in Lawrenceville’s Stillwood subdivision involving a baseball bat and a pistol.
Roddy White sparked interest from regional and national media in 2007 when he took his cousin, then 17, and his brother, Tyler Moore, 15, under his wing, allowing them to live at his Chateau Elan home after things had turned south in Charleston, S.C., where they’d all grown up in humble surroundings.
Prosecutors believe three other suspects — Carl Copeland, Jovane Mcdermott and Anthony Swanigan — acted alongside White. All four were indicted on counts of armed robbery, aggravated assault, burglary and weapons possession this week.
Victims told police four men in ski masks stormed through an unlocked basement door just after midnight. A 22-year-old woman, who was sitting on a couch with her boyfriend, was struck in the lip and forced to the floor by her hair. One robber reportedly carried a baseball bat, another a black, semi-automatic pistol, police said.
The gun-brandishing man bashed the boyfriend about seven times. The woman threatened to call police and the masked intruders ran off, according to Gwinnett police.
Their most valuable take was the man’s diamond-studded Bulavo watch, worth $400.
Both victims gave police the name Ali White, whom the female recognized as a former classmate at Mill Creek High School. Hours later, mutual friends told them the alleged crew was overheard bragging about breaking into a home and stealing a watch. The couple came forward with that information.
Authorities arrested all four in May. They remain at the Gwinnett County Jail without bond.
Armed robbery convictions in Georgia carry a mandatory 10 years in prison.