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Alleged getaway driver takes stand in 2018 Edison gas station murder trial

Alleged getaway driver testifies in day 2 of Edison murder trial
Alleged getaway driver testifies in day 2 of Edison murder trial 02:15

EDISON, N.J. -- Wednesday was day two in the murder trial of the man accused of killing an Edison store clerk during a robbery in 2018.

CBS New York's Alice Gainer was in the courtroom as his alleged getaway driver took the stand.

Twenty-six-year-old Olya Quinnam was living in South Carolina and says she met Marcus Wright through Facebook. Multiple times, she told the court they were never romantically involved. Text messages show that they called each other "bestie."

The judge allowed CBS New York to videotape her testimony but not record the audio.

Quinnam told the jury she borrowed her boyfriend's car to move her sister to Long Island and Wright came along with them.

On the way home, she says, they stopped in New Jersey, and after going to a club, he directed her to the Speedway Mart on Amboy Avenue in Edison.

After circling the block a few times, she says he put on her burgundy sweatshirt and went inside while she waited in the car, smoking cigarettes and pulling off her fake fingernails that detectives would later find on the street and in the car.

Prosecutors say just after 4 a.m. on Dec. 20, 2018, Wright fired off a gunshot inside the store, demanded the clerk hand over the cash register drawer, then shot him in the face, killing him.

Quinnam testified Wright came back into the car "yelling for me to drive" and had on a ski mask and gloves.

"He was angry and cussing," Quinnam said. "'All that for $500?,' he said."

She says he threw the money on the floor and chucked the cash register drawer out the window as she drove.

They were pulled over by police in Freehold because the car's taillights were out. They were told not to drive, so they pulled into a gas station and slept in the car, she says.

Other stops after that include auto shops, a club and a rest stop, where Quinnam testified she looked through one of Wright's phones and saw a message about her to a friend that said he "doesn't trust me. Thinks I'm gonna snitch so we should take care of it."

Quinnam says she looked up the robbery in news reports online and that's when she discovered the clerk, 38-year-old John Bertram, had been killed.

She told the jurors she left Wright at a rest stop, drove home and went into hiding.

The two were eventually arrested after Quinnam sent a text to a friend that she didn't want to live. Police went to check on her and she says, after feeling "sadness and remorse," she told them about the robbery.

But Wright's defense attorney pointed to transcripts of her initial statements to police, which she admitted were lies and different from what she told the court Wednesday.

In 2019, Quinnam pleaded guilty to armed robbery and agreed to a 15-year sentence as part of a plea deal. If she testifies truthfully, the sentence lowers to 10 years.

For a second day, jurors also saw photos of Bertram's body, including a close-up of the gunshot wound on his face. His mother and lifelong friend averted their gaze. They've waited nearly five years for justice.

Wright is facing multiple murder, weapons and robbery charges. If convicted, he could spend life in prison without parole.

While behind bars in South Carolina awaiting extradition to New Jersey, Wright killed his cellmate in 2019 during a fight.

The defense attorney also noted both Quinnam and Wright burglarized a home in South Carolina together prior to this crime.

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